Official: Taliban Can Take Part In Presidential Election If Peace Talks Start
Whatsapp: Major Recruiting Tools for Radicalization: Study Conducted By Liberal
M Touts Malaysia-Turkey-Pakistan Pact as a New Guiding Light for Muslim World
to Anti-Terror Law: Onus Will Be On Individual to Prove He Is Not Terrorist
Pick Fight with Nation for Incapable Imran Khan: Maryam 'Requests Institutions'
Omar's Defiance Resonates With Muslim-American Activists
UK Now Considers Far-Right Terror As Dangerous As Islamic Extremism
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ISIS make claims regarding the three explosions in Kabul which over 50 dead,
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authorities alarmed by ISIS recruiters at Kabul University
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Qatar reacts to deadly Kabul bombings which left 56 dead, wounded
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opposition holds 'black day' protests against PM Khan
Ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi Elected As Vice President Of UN's Economic
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won’t resign over posts on 2 Muslim reps, Islam
Afghanistan agree to accelerate Afghan peace talks
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ISIS: how Kosovo is rehabilitating women and children repatriated from Syria
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president Abbas calls for end to agreements with Israel
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president says to stop agreements with Israel
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affiliate releases video of Nigerian aid workers begging for their lives
security arrests al-Qaeda leaders in Tripoli
Attack Kills 6 People, Injures Mogadishu Mayor
of Islamic anti-terror coalition visits Mali
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president dies after being in intensive care
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says 38 migrants taken to bombed detention center
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of Nigerian cleric Zakzaky die in custody due to lack of care’
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by New Age Islam News Bureau
Taliban can take part in the September 28 presidential election if they start
negotiations with the Afghan government, a spokesman for Afghan chief executive
officer Abdullah Abdullah told local media outlet Tolo News on July 24.
four days before the presidential election campaign starts, the spokesman,
Fraidoon Khwazoon, said "the door is open for the Taliban whenever they
are willing to come and sit with the Afghan government and take part in
democratic and national stages."
comments came a day after Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said he will meet
with the Taliban to try and persuade them start negotiations with the
Western-backed government in Kabul.
I will meet the Taliban…to get them to talk to the Afghan government, and so
that the election" can be inclusive, Khan said at the U.S. Institute of
Peace in Washington on July 23.
are 18 candidates competing for the presidency including current incumbent
Ashraf Ghani, who is seeking a second term.
of them are men, including a former warlord.
election comes at a time when militants are launching attacks on Afghan
security forces almost every day despite peace efforts gaining momentum to put
an end to the nearly 18-year war.
Taliban control or contest around half of the country, controlling more
territory than at any time since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001 ousted the group
has said it is ready to pull foreign forces out of the country in exchange for
a set of Taliban security guarantees. One of them is for Afghanistan not to
become a haven for terrorist groups.
United States is aiming for a deal by September 1, before the presidential
no one wins a majority, a second round will take place, most likely in
persuading university students, radical groups used messaging or texting in
their recruitment efforts – particularly on Facebook and Whatsapp – in certain
parts of Bangladesh.
groups largely use Facebook and Whatsapp to contact university students to
persuade them to join extremist groups, according to a study conducted by the
Center for Enterprise and Society (CES) at the University of Liberal Arts
research, “Social Media and Radicalization of University Students in
Bangladesh,” authored by Sajid Amit, director CES and Executive MBA (EMBA) at
ULAB, and Lumbini Barua, CES research associate, was based on a quantitative
survey of 470 university students in Dhaka, Sylhet, and Rajshahi as well as
interviews of experts.
study finds that 17.2% of students reported being approached online to join a
religious group. Although it is not clear if the groups have links with
extremists, experts think that extremist groups may be active on social media.
persuading university students, radical groups
used messaging or texting in their recruitment efforts – particularly on
Facebook and Whatsapp – in certain parts of Bangladesh.
religious misinterpretations, secular motivations and tactics are being used by
extremists to recruit new people. For instance, “financial incentives” and the
promise of a “strong brotherhood” have a strong role to play in persuading
students to join extremist groups.
most students block, ignore, or report such mobile numbers or accounts on
social media, but not to local authorities.
shocking finding of the study is that around a third of university students
suggested that religious extremism may be necessary in some parts of the world,
due to the oppression and subjugation of Muslims.
is also shocking that 26.2%, or the second largest percentage of respondents
said that this view falls within the framework of a correct and true
understanding of Islam, in certain circumstances. This raises the question
of how then are the youth of the country
learning about religion?
study recommends countering radicalization with curricular and co-curricular
activities at educational institutions, and teaching social media ethics or
social media safety to students, so they can stay safe and vigilant when they
authors emphasized the need to facilitate youth-led social media awareness
campaigns and recommended that universities teach a mandatory course on current
affairs that offers a nuanced view of events and conflicts, so that young
people do not grow up with a “victim” mentality.
M touts Malaysia-Turkey-Pakistan pact as a new guiding light for Muslim world
July 26 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has put forward a tripartite alliance
involving Malaysia, Turkey and Pakistan to speak for the global Muslim
at a joint press conference with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the
prime minister also lauded Turkey for being a rare case of a developed
Muslim-majority country that may prove be an “antidote” valuable in the effort.
I propose, is for these countries to work together and strengthen the Muslim
that we can speak louder as one voice. With our own capacities in terms of many
areas,” Dr Mahathir told the press at the Presidential Complex here.
through his translators, concurred with Dr Mahathir.
Mail asked both leaders if Malaysia and Turkey would offer their leadership to
the Muslim world amid deafening silence on issues such as the apparent
oppression against Muslim minorities and the Uighurs by Beijing.
Malaysia and Turkey were conspicuously absent from a joint letter by 22
countries to the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights earlier this
month condemning China’s “mass arbitrary detentions and related violations”
against the Uighurs — much like the rest of the Muslim world.
his immediate response, Dr Mahathir said: “Making a statement is easy, but
action is much harder.”
he did not mention China by name, nor touch on the persecution of Muslims
in his speech after receiving the Order of the Republic, becoming the first
South-east Asian leader to do so, Dr Mahathir lamented that the global Muslim
community is currently facing a lot of problems and is ostensibly weak.
you look at the past, Turkey was the saviour of the Muslim community in those
days, but for reasons that few are able to understand we now have no Muslim
country to stand up and protect us, but that doesn’t mean that this should be
forever,” he said.
he said the tripartite pact may be able to utilise the collective minds and
resources of its members to relieve the Muslim world of being subjugated, and
figure out a way to stem the imminent decline and fall of the Muslim-majority
May, Malaysia, Turkey and Pakistan’s foreign ministers—Datuk Saifuddin
Abdullah, Mevlut Cavusoglu and Shah Mehmood Qureshi — held a trilateral meeting
at the sidelines of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Council of
Foreign Ministers in Jeddah.
the meeting, the three countries announced that it has reviewed the OIC reform
agenda, and discussed ways to make the Islamic umbrella organisation more
Mahathir also told the press today that Malaysia and Turkey are on the same
page regarding the plight of Palestinians.
is important to show the world that Malaysia and Turkey see things in the same
way,” he said.
to anti-terror law: Onus will be on individual to prove he is not terrorist
burden of proving that one is not a terrorist will be on the individual who is
designated a “terrorist” by the central government under the amended Unlawful
Activities Prevention Act, 1967. The amendments will allow the label, which is
reserved for convicts, to be extended to individuals accused of or suspected to
involved in terror activities.
Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Amendment
Bill, 2019, which seeks to give the Centre the power to designate not just
organisations but also individuals as terrorists, if they are found committing,
preparing for, promoting or involved in an act of terror.
original law, enacted to prevent certain unlawful activities of individuals and
associations and for dealing with terrorist activities, gives powers to
designate an organisation that commits or participates in acts of terrorism, or
prepares for terrorism, or promotes or encourages terrorism, or is otherwise
involved in terrorism as “terrorist organisations”. The amendment Bill simply
replaced “organisations” with “organisations/individuals” in Sections 35-38,
which deal with designation as terrorists.
to the Bill, the designation is to be notified by the government in the
official gazette and the onus will be on the individual to seek a review to
satisfy the government that the individual is not a terrorist. The law does not
require any other offences to be filed against the individual to declare
him/her a terrorist. The law also does not specify any process for the
be denotifed from the gazette as a terrorist, an individual can make an
application to the central government. If the application is rejected, the
person can seek a review by a special committee set up by the government.
law, however, does not prescribe a time limit for the government to set up such
a committee or a process for the committee to decide the application.
parties, lawyers and activists have criticised the proposed amendments, citing
potential for misuse.
government is taking over judicial function. I can only be called a terrorist
after a court convicts me. It cannot be done on the mere feelings of the
government or suspicion,” AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi has said in Lok Sabha.
Abhinav Sekhri said, “It is bad enough that organisations are called terror
outfits without due process. Now to add individuals to the law is worse.
Organisations and individuals are treated differently under the Constitution.”
specifically citizens, have fundamental rights and freedoms under the
Constitution and are guaranteed due process and liberty unlike organisations.
concerns about the UAPA amendments echo those related to amendments to the
National Investigation Agency Act, 2008, which were recently passed by
Parliament. Drug peddling, human trafficking and cyber terrorism have been
added to the list of offences in which the NIA can intervene.
to advocate Mehmood Pracha, “There were proposals from the NIA earlier, too, to
emulate US agencies on the lone wolf theory. But in the India context there is
and NCP MP Supriya Sule said the amendments contravened the federal structure
as they allowed NIA to bypass local police to raid property in cases being
investigated by the anti-terror agency.
fact that someone is designated a terrorist exponentially increases his chances
of being booked under other serious offences. A trial for terror offences and
conviction can be done away with if one were to be simply be labelled a
terrorist through a government order,” said Alok Prasanna, a senior resident
fellow at Vidhi Centre for Legal Policy.
amended UAPA will also empower officers of rank of NIA inspector to investigate
terror crimes. This was originally reserved for officers of rank of deputy
superintendent of police or equivalent.
Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday cited the backlog of cases in the NIA and fewer
DSP-level officers to allow inspectors to deal with anti-terror cases.
pick fight with nation for incapable Imran Khan: Maryam 'requests institutions'
leader Maryam Nawaz on Thursday urged unnamed institutions to "not come
face to face" with the people of Pakistan for the sake of what she called
the "incapable" government of Prime Minister Imran Khan.
was addressing a public gathering in Quetta's Ayub Stadium, one of numerous
events and rallies held across the country by the opposition parties to mark
the first anniversary of the 2018 general elections as 'Youm-e-Siah' — 'black
joint opposition are holding public meetings in all provincial capitals —
Karachi, Lahore, Peshawar and Quetta — while a demonstration was also held in
the "respected institutions" of the country, Maryam said that these
institutions represented all the provinces of Pakistan, "but you are not
the institutions of Imran Khan. You are not the representatives of the man who
brought historical failure to Pakistan."
pick a fight with the people for the incapable and failed Imran Khan," she
said while addressing the unnamed institutions.
that the people of Balochistan, Punjab, Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa were upset
with, but "want to respect", the institutions, she urged these powers
to "come forward and hug" the people of various provinces and solve
their issues. She also asked them to "honour the vote" and let the
people's representatives be elected.
said the opposition parties were observing 'Youm-i-Siyah' today because a year
ago on this day, "Your vote was crushed under the foot."
questioned the origins of the ruling Balochistan Awami Party (BAP), saying it
was imposed upon the people of Balochistan after "snatching" their
right to elect their representative. The people's "true
representatives" were asked forced to switch their loyalties and
"fake cases" were instituted against those who refused to comply, the
PML-N leader alleged.
to Prime Minister Imran Khan as "selected" once again, she alleged
that every day under the rule of the incumbent government was a black day for
Pakistanis suffering from high inflation and the loss of their businesses.
alleged that the premier had "sat silently" when US President Donald
Trump, during the former's recent visit to Washington, stated that the former
Pakistani governments had not cooperated with the US.
does not even have the self-respect to represent Pakistan in the US by himself.
[He] took people from institutions with him because no one is ready to listen
to him alone," she said.
claimed that the country was going through a severe economic crisis because the
vote of Pakistani people "had not been honoured".
also claimed that whichever city she holds a public gathering in,
"6,000-7,000 people are arrested" there and TV channels are warned
against broadcasting her speeches.
her father's past efforts to "honour the vote", she said Nawaz Sharif
could have formed a PML-N government after the 2013 general elections if he had
so desired, "but he honoured the vote of Balochistan's people and made Dr
Abdul Malik Baloch the chief minister of Balochistan". She even claimed
that the PML-N could have formed its government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in 2013
after some "manipulation" but that Sharif had respected the majority
obtained by the PTI.
was also Nawaz Sharif who decided from jail that the person to replace
incumbent Senate Chairman Sadiq Sanjrani should be Hasil Bizenjo from
Balochistan, she added.
are the elected representatives of the people who connect the hearts and
provinces," Maryam said, adding that the "wheel of progress" in
Pakistan has stopped under the PTI government.
Khan Achakzai, the chairman of Pashtoonkhwa Milli Awami Party, and other opposition
leaders also joined Maryam at the rally. Security had been beefed up around the
a post shared on Twitter prior to her departure, Maryam wrote that every day
under the current government — that she alleged had "stolen votes and was
a fraud" — is a black day for the country.
Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari led the public meeting at Bagh-e-Jinnah in
Karachi alongside PML-N’s Ayaz Sadiq. Opposition parties had set up welcome
camps around the location and strict security arrangements were made.
the rally, Bilawal alleged that a "selected government" was imposed
on the people of Pakistan after the 2018 elections on July 25 — a day he too
termed "black day".
said the PTI government had made life difficult for people by "dropping
the bomb of inflation" and downed the image of Pakistan before the
today, we are formally initiating a disobedience drive against the
government," the PPP leader announced.
said if the country today has an agreed constitution, "it is the Islamic,
democratic, federal Constitution of 1973, which was composed by Zulfiqar Ali
Bhutto in collaboration with Mufti Mahmood and other parties."
[the PPP] and the PML-N signed the important document of Charter of Democracy,
through which we restored the 1973 Constitution with the help of the 18th
in collaboration with the ANP, provided identity to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa by
changing the name of NWFP province. Hasil Bizenjo and his father, Mir Ghous Bux
Bizenjo, spent their lives for the rights of the people of Balochistan. Moulana
Noorani had always struggled for inter-faith harmony and democracy. Achakzai
has also spent his entire life for democracy and rights of nations.
have our own political parties, thoughts and political constitutions. And in
the past, we had engaged each other in political fights but we all are
patriotic Pakistanis," Bilawal told the crowd.
said the aforementioned political leaders had fought together for the country's
interest and for the supremacy of democracy.
we all can see that democracy in Pakistan is in danger. Our federation is being
is facing so many problems that a single political party or politician cannot
resolve them. And today, once again, we are united," the PPP chairperson
thanked Ayaz Sadiq, Abdul Ghafoor Haideri of the JUI-F, Senator Raza Mohammad
Raza of the PkMAP, Amal Wali of the ANP, Mohammad Baloch of the National Party
and other political leaders for participating in the rally.
opposition parties in the National Assembly had also decided to hold a general
convention today outside the Mausoleum of Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
Central leaders of the opposition parties addressed the event while conventions
were also held in other provincial capitals.
public meeting was presided over by PML-N President and Leader of the
Opposition in the National Assembly Shehbaz Sharif at Mall Road.
strongly criticised the prime minister for his political and economic policies
and what he called "the worst revenge on the pretext of
alleged that on July 25, 2018, the worst-ever election rigging in the history
took place. "From Chitral to Karachi, votes were counted in the absence of
polling agents," he added.
PML-N president also presented a comparison between the prices of bread during
the tenure of the PML-N and the incumbent government. "What is the price
of a roti today — Rs15," he said while addressing the prime minister and
recalled that it was available against Rs5 during the tenure of former prime
minister Nawaz Sharif.
the tenure of Nawaz Sharif, the prices of medicines were reasonable and were
made available free of cost in government-run hospitals, while today, traders,
livelihood and even voices are suppressed," he added.
of thousands of people have become jobless [...] do you want more joblessness
and more expensive bread? — if no, then there is only one way, dislodge Imran
Punjab president Qamar Zaman Kaira also addressed the rally.
large contingent of police and anti-riot force personnel were stationed around
Mall Road, where heavy rainfall affected preparations.
it was reported that the Punjab government had denied permission to the
opposition to hold a rally on The Mall today.
leader Ahsan Iqbal lashed out at the government during a public gathering,
saying that the incumbent government had "ruined" the economy in the
first year of its tenure.
was addressing a public meeting at Motorway Chowk on Ring Road in Peshawar
alongside members of opposition parties including Qaumi Watan Party's Chairman
Aftab Sherpao and Awami National Party's President Asfandyar Wali Khan. Jamiat
Ulema-i-Islam (JUI-F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who was leading the rally,
also addressed the gathering.
visibly charged Iqbal said that Prime Minister Imran has asked for loans from
every friendly nation. "He (prime minister) used to say that he would
commit suicide but not ask the International Monetary Fund for money,"
former planning minister said that Nawaz Sharif had delivered on all his
promises and merged the tribal areas with the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
1,100 police officers and 250 traffic police officers were on duty for the
opposition gathering at Motorway Chowk.
leaders and workers of the PML-N carried out a protest rally in front of the
National Press Club in Islamabad.
of the rally, which included local leaders of the JUI-F and PkMAP, chanted
slogans against Prime Minister Imran and his government. Police and other
security personnel were present at the protest site.
the rally, PkMAP Islamabad president Abdul Qayyum Achakzai alleged that the PTI
government had promised "change" but instead imposed taxes worth
Rs750 billion on the people after coming into power.
claimed that supporters of his party were unable to join the opposition rally
in Balochistan because roads across the province had allegedly been blocked.
"We strongly condemn [the move]," he added.
the other side of the capital, supporters of the ruling PTI cut a cake to
celebrate and observe "Thanks Giving Day" today to mark Prime
Minister Imran's ascension to power.
opposition rallies coincide with Imran Khan's return from an official working
visit to the United States, which has largely been seen as a diplomatic win for
premier, while addressing a large crowd at a community event at Washington's
Capital One Arena on his first day in the US, had gone after opposition leaders
and threatened to 'take away' their prison facilities. "They will stay
there as long as they do not return the money they have looted," Imran had
thundered to a charged audience.
parties had lambasted Prime Minister Imran over his speech and termed it
“provocative, anarchic and full of venom”.
- U.S. Congresswoman Ilhan Omar struck a chord with other Muslim Americans when
she denounced a perceived assumption that she is reluctant to condemn or
sympathetic to terrorism and atrocities committed by Islamic groups.
this need to be on repeat every five minutes?" Omar asked during a Muslim
Caucus Education Collective forum in Washington on Tuesday.
today, I forgot to condemn al-Qaida," she continued to resounding applause.
"So here's the al-Qaida one. Today I forgot to condemn a FGM [female
genital mutilation.] So there you
progressive activists at the conference said Omar's outrage mirrored their
anger at having their values and loyalty constantly questioned.
was time for someone to say it and she finally did. And we are so proud and so
honored to have her in Congress," said Yasmeen Obeid, a
Palestinian-American community activist from San Diego, California.
was responding to a question about FGM from Ani Zonneveld, president of Muslims
for Progressive Values. She asked the Minnesota lawmaker to join with fellow
Muslim Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib from Michigan to condemn the practice, in
light of a Detroit judge's ruling last November overturning a federal law that
made FGM a crime.
involves the ritual cutting of part or all of a girl or woman's genitals, a
traditional practice often associated with Islam. The World Health
Organization, or WHO, estimates that 200 million girls and women in 30
countries have undergone FGM. It is most pervasive in Muslim-majority countries
in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. Somalia, where Omar was born before she
came to the U.S. as a refugee, has one of the highest FGM rates in the world.
WHO says "FGM has no health benefits," can cause long-term urinary
problems, pain during intercourse and lead to an increased risk of childbirth
Muslim organizations, such the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (representing
53 Muslim-majority nations) have condemned FGM as a human rights violation
against women and girls.
Omar has co-authored legislation with Representative Lois Frankel of Florida
denouncing FGM and calling on the international community and federal
government to step up efforts to eliminate the practice.
some, Omar may have come across as overly defensive when she said she was
"quite disgusted" to be asked to condemn FGM, which she has done many
times, and to be pressed to address issues that non-Muslim legislators
typically are not asked about.
to many in the Muslim Caucus forum, Omar was pushing back against contrived and
bigoted stereotypes of Muslims in America.
Daugherty, a Muslim student activist from Stone Mountain, Georgia, said
Congresswoman Omar was demanding to be treated "like every other
morally-guided congressperson in the United States."
reply also followed repeated attacks on her character and patriotism by
President Donald Trump and some of his supporters.
a political rally in North Carolina last week, Trump said Omar "blamed the
U.S. for terrorist attacks on our country" and ridiculed her for calling
the extremists who carried out the September 11, 2001 attacks as "some
people did something." The crowd at the rally responded by chanting,
"Send her back."
president was referring to a speech Omar made to the Council on
American-Islamic Relations in March about discrimination against Muslims, in
which she said the group "was founded after 9/11 because they recognized
that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access
to our civil liberties."
stirred controversy in February when she tweeted, "It's all about the
Benjamins" — a reference to U.S. hundred dollar bills, suggesting that
financial contributions from Jewish Americans help dictate U.S. support for
Israel. She later apologized after being rebuked by Democrats and Republicans
Minnesota Democrat, along with Tlaib, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and
Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, all congresswomen of color, have been the
recent focus of criticism from President Trump, who first tweeted they should
go back where they came from.
of Trump's verbal attacks on the congresswomen, analysts say, are intentionally
inflammatory and meant to energize Trump's predominantly white and Christian
supporters ahead of next year's presidential elections.
British government has overhauled the way it assesses terror threat levels to
include homegrown and right-wing extremists, putting them on an equal footing
with foreign and jihadist threats.
now, the terror threat system — which assesses the likelihood of an attack in
the UK on a scale from "low" to "critical" — has only
addressed the threat from international terrorism, which the Home Office said
had become largely synonymous with jihadist attacks.
the changes Tuesday, Home Secretary Sajid Javid said the new system reflected
the growing terror threat from the far-right.
the Islamist threat remains, we have recently seen an increase in terrorist
activity motivated by the extreme right-wing,” he said. “Our approach to
stopping terrorists is the same, regardless of the twisted ideology that
Home Office said the changes resulted from a wide-ranging review of Britain’s
counter-terror approach following a spate of attacks in 2017: three jihadist
attacks at Westminster Bridge, Manchester Arena, and London Bridge, and a
far-right car-ramming attack outside a London mosque. It said the old classification
system was outdated, as Islamist terrorism could be homegrown, while far-right
terror could also have an international dimension.
police revealed in March that four of the 18 terror plots thwarted in the past
three years have come from the far-right, including a neo-Nazi plot to kill a
left-wing MP with a machete. Meanwhile, of the nearly 400 people who were
referred to the government’s de-radicalization program in 2017-2018, roughly an
equal number were referred for concerns of about far-right and Islamist
rising threat from the far-right was highlighted on the international stage
when an Australian extremist massacred 50 Muslims at mosques in Christchurch,
New Zealand in March.
Ryan, spokesman for the British anti-racism watchdog Hope not Hate, told VICE
News in an email that his organization welcomed the move, but that it should
have happened earlier.
is an overdue move by the government and belatedly recognizes the very real
threat presented by far-right terrorism,” said Ryan, whose group played a key
role in alerting authorities to the MP assassination plot.
thwarted a terrorist plot by a neo-Nazi to murder his local MP, we’re very much
alive to this danger and have long been warning the authorities to take the
threat much more seriously.”
said that, in addition to changing the terror threat system, UK authorities
need to take stronger action to tackle the spread of extremist propaganda
online. “Attention also needs to be paid towards the enablers of terror and the
social media platforms which have not only allowed the preachers of hate to
spread conspiracies — like the great replacement fallacy used by the
Christchurch terrorist and promoted by his supporters here in Europe — but also
to monetize that hatred too,” he said.
the terror threat level evaluation was first made public in 2006, it has never
fallen below “substantial.” Amid the spate of attacks in 2017, which killed 36
people in total, the threat level spiked several times from “severe” to
“critical” — meaning an attack “is highly likely in the near future.” It
currently stands at severe, meaning an attack is “highly likely.”
home demolitions meant to liquidate Palestinian cause: Lebanon FM
Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil says recent demolition of a cluster of
Palestinian homes in occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds is in line with the
Israeli regime’s policy to kill the Palestinian cause.
is demolishing homes in the West Bank, displacing landowners from al-Quds and
its suburbs, and rejecting the right of return within the frame of the
[so-called] deal of the century in a bid to liquidate the Palestinian cause,”
Bassil wrote in a post published on his official Twitter page on Thursday.
إسرائيل تهدم المنازل في الضفة وتهجّر أصحاب الأرض من القدس والضواحي وتسقط حق العودة في صفقة القرن لتصفية
القضية الفلسطينية، وهناك من يفتعل المشاكل لإلهاء أخوتنا الفلسطينين عن الخطر الأكبر الآتي على القضية... عين الشرعية الدولية تغمض عن الحق، وعين بعض أهل الحق تغمض عن القضية GB
PM - Jul 25, 2019
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people are talking about this
added, “There are people who are creating problems to distract our Palestinian
brethren from the greatest danger that is yet to come. The international
community has turned a blind eye to truth, and some of those advocating truth
are disregarding the issue as well.”
Wednesday, the United States blocked the United Nations Security Council from
passing a resolution condemning Israel’s demolition of about 70 homes in 10
apartment buildings in Sur Bahir neighborhood.
Kuwait and South Africa had earlier circulated a draft statement, expressing
grave concern over the demolitions. They stated that such practice would
undermine the viability of the so-called two-state solution, and the prospect
for a just and lasting resolution of the decades-long conflict between the Israelis
secretary general of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), Saeb Erekat,
strongly condemned the demolitions on Tuesday, calling on the international
community to push the International Criminal Court (ICC) into opening an immediate
investigation into the incident.
called on UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet to implement
her mandate under the Human Rights Council resolution 31/36, which demands a
database of all business enterprises engaged in Israeli settlement activity in
the occupied Palestinian territories, and to strive for international
protection of Palestinians living under the Israeli occupation.
“The international community has
not only failed to stop demolitions and forced displacement in Sur Bahir, but
also failed to hold Israel accountable for its continued violations of
international law. Israel's actions are not only serious violations of the
Fourth Geneva Convention, but are war crimes pursuant to the Rome Statute of
the ICC. Therefore, we call for the urgent cessation of crimes being committed
in the occupied State of Palestine,” Erekat said.
remarks came a day after hundreds of Israeli troops with bulldozers tore down
homes in Sur Bahir despite local protests and international criticism.
Lanka's Easter attacks that killed more than 250 people were carried out by
local groups who drew inspiration from, but were not directly linked to, the
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL or ISIS) group, a Sri Lankan
investigator has said.
Seneviratne, head of the Sri Lankan police Criminal Investigation Department
(CID), made the remarks on Wednesday in a meeting with the country's
parliamentary panel investigating the security and intelligence lapses that led
to the April 21 bombings.
said the suicide bombers who targeted three churches and three hotels had no
direct link to the foreign armed group.
followed the IS ideology, but our investigations have not shown any link
between them," Seneviratne told the parliamentary panel.
noted that remnants of the National Thowheeth Jamath (NTJ), the armed group
that was held responsible for the Easter attacks, had persuaded ISIL to claim
the attack two days after the deadly events in Sri Lanka.
leader Zahran Hashim made a video with fellow NTJ members pledging allegiance
to ISIL leader Abu Bakr Al-Bagdadi. The video was released by ISIL two days
investigator, Shani Abeysekara, told the same parliamentary panel that the CID
found 105 kilogrammes of explosives from an NTJ hideout earlier this year.
not for this discovery, they would have been able to cause much more
damage," Abeysekara said, adding that they were already investigating the
NTJ when the attacks took place.
a statement last week, Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena alleged the
attacks "were the work of international drug dealers" to disrupt his
barons carried out this attack to discredit me and discourage my anti-narcotics
drive. I will not be deterred," he said.
spokesperson for Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe refuted the president's
completed the investigations within about two weeks," Sudarshana
Gunawardana told AFP news agency. "There is no mention of drug dealers
being involved. We have no reason to doubt our investigators."
Lankan authorities were reportedly tipped off of by Indian authorities as early
as April 4, and even hours before the bombings took place, Sri Lankan defence
sources told Reuters News Agency days after the attack.
Jayasundara, Sri Lanka's former police chief, and Hemasiri Fernando, former
secretary to the Ministry of Defence, are currently facing criminal charges
over their alleged negligence in failing to prevent the attack.
Sri Lankan Attorney General Dappula de Livera called the security and
intelligence lapses a "crime against humanity".
is sufficient information to prove negligence of official duties ... and
criminal negligence. It is also considered a grave crime against humanity under
international law," Livera said in a letter to the country's acting head
of police in June, urging him to take action against his predecessor.
Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terror group has claimed responsibility
for the twin blasts in Kabul.
group’s Amaq News Agency claimed that the group was behind the consecutive
blasts including a suicide attack against the bus in 16th district of the city.
the Taliban group has claimed it was behind a car bomb explosion in Despechary
area of Kabul city.
group has claimed that the attack killed 9 foreign nationals.
Afghan official says four police officers were killed and two others wounded
when Taliban militants attacked a security checkpoint in the western province
Mohib, a spokesman for the provincial governor, said two militants were killed
in the incident late on July 23.
did not reveal where in the province the attack took place.
a statement, the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack.
militants have launched near-daily attacks on Afghan security forces, even as
peace efforts have been gaining momentum to put an end to Afghanistan's nearly
Taliban control or contest around half of the country, controlling more
territory than any time since the U.S.-led invasion in 2001 ousted the group
Taliban controls large parts of Farah, which is located on the border with
investigation by Afghanistan’s spy agency this month led to the arrest of four
ISIS recruiters, three of whom were teachers at the country’s largest
university, raising questions about the ability of extremists to operate in the
capital and recruit from the country’s young students.
the three suspects, Mubashir Muslimyar was a lecturer, while Zahir Daee and
Mohammad Maroof Rasikh were teachers of religious studies at Kabul University,
the National Directorate of Security (NDS) said in a statement on July 8.
suspected insurgent recruiters were detained in Kabul and are believed to have
played a role in a spate of recent attacks in the Afghan capital, including
against a bus carrying civil servants on June 4 and the September bombings of a
wrestling club in which 21 people died.
their involvement in organising attacks, the NDS investigation raises questions
about their efforts to radicalise and recruit students.
teachers’ alleged activities became known after former students of Mr Muslimyar
were detained following the aforementioned attacks and identified him as a
24-year-old graduate who studied Information and Communication Technology under
Mr Muslimyar in 2014 told The National that his former lecturer had exhorted
students to “join jihad against the infidel government.”
often started debates in the class against the government,” said the former
student, who asked to remain anonymous. “He used to tell us that this
government is made up of pagans and is against Islam.”
complained about Mr Muslimyar’s views but the faculty never took action, the
a now-deleted tweet, a woman who said she had been a student of Mr Muslimyar
claimed he had been opposed to co-education and had deducted marks from female
students who wore Western-style clothing.
woman declined to comment further when contacted by The National but said she
had deleted the tweet after receiving threats.
the arrests, security officials and academics say they are concerned about
radicalisation of youth on university campuses.
and religious scholars who support jihadist groups hold a lot of influence over
the community,” a security official close to the investigation told The National
on condition of anonymity. “Young students in their care are exposed to harmful
ideologies when they are extremely vulnerable and can be manipulated to do
from Kabul University, authorities are also concerned about ISIS recruitment at
Nangarhar University and Al Beroni University in Kapisa, the official said.
report this year by the Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies found that half
of 373 students surveyed at three major Afghan universities supported an
Islamic Emirate or Caliphate as a preferred system of political governance.
Taliban refers to their insurgent shadow government as the Islamic Emirate of
20 per cent of the students surveyed in Kabul, Herat and Nangarhar were opposed
to secularism or living alongside religious groups other than their own, While
three quarters supported the idea of proslytesing Islam globally.
ut-Tahrir, an insurgent group that operates in region, called the report
anti-Islamic and secularist.
report’s author Ramin Kamangar blamed a lack of diversity and inclusivity in
university curricula for growing intolerance and susceptibility to
radicalisation among students.
textbooks of Islamic studies are not academic or standardised,” he told The
National. “They speak about the world as right or wrong – presenting the world
to the students in form of ideological black and white.
system does not encourage critical thinking or creativity, he said, producing
graduates who are unable to reason independently – and therefore vulnerable to
recruitment to extremist groups.
officials meanwhile are keeping a close eye on higher learning institutions
across the country.
students who come to these universities hail from villages and rural areas;
some are even returning from Pakistani refugee camps,” the security official
said. “We can’t expect them to have the same kind of thoughts and ideologies as
urban students from Kabul. Bringing youth of different thinking has also been
concerning in terms of spreading influence of certain harmful ideologies.”
consecutive blasts in Kabul city left 11 people dead and 45others wounded, the
Ministry of Public Health said.
Rahimi, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior said the explosions killed 11
civilians and wounded 45 others.
Rahimi said a suicide bomber targeted a vehicle carrying the employees of the
Ministry of Mines and Petroleum in 16th district of the city.
to Rahimi, the second explosion took place in the same area killing 11
civilians and wounding 45 others.
Rahimi said the third explosion took place in Despachery area of Kabul. It was
likely a car bomb explosion.
Ministry of Public Health officials had earlier said the explosions killed 8
civilians including women and child.
and Qatar reacted to deadly bombings in Kabul city which left at least 56 civilians
dead or wounded.
ministry of Foreign Affairs of Qatar in a statement said the State of Qatar
expressed its strong denunciation and condemnation of the three consecutive
explosions in the Afghan capital Kabul, which resulted in deaths and injuries.
statement further added that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs reiterated the
State of Qatar’s firm stance on rejecting violence and terrorism, regardless of
the motives and reasons.
Pakistan’s Foreign Ministry in a statement said Pakistan strongly condemns the
terrorist attack in Kabul today, on a bus carrying government employees.
statement further added “We express our condolences to the bereaved families
and pray for speedy recovery of the injured.”
statement also added “Pakistan condemns terrorism in all its forms and
manifestations. We express solidarity with the people of Afghanistan. Pakistan
will continue to support international efforts to restore complete peace and
stability in Afghanistan.”
Ministry of Interior spokesman Nasrat Rahimi said the three explosions killed
11 civilians including women and children.
further added that the explosions also wounded 45 civilians.
Rahimi said a suicide attack followed by an explosion targeted a vehicle of the
Ministry of Mines and Petroleum in 16th district of Kabul city.
also added that the third blast took place in Despechary area of the city. It
as likely a car bomb explosion.
Afghan forces conducted separate operations in Logar and Ghazni
provinceskilling, wounding at least 13 Taliban militants.
203rd Thunder Corps in a statement said the security forces an operation in the
vicinity of Mohammad Agha district killing 9 Taliban militants.
statement further added that the security forces killed a Taliban fighter and
wounded another militant during a separate raid in Baraki Barak district.
the 203rd Thunder Corps said the security forces killed 2 Taliban militants
during an operation in Aab district of Ghazni province.
JAYA: M Indira Gandhi today alleged she was informed that three groups are
protecting her ex-husband who abducted her 11-year-old daughter, all of whom,
she claimed, are inspired by controversial preacher Dr Zakir Naik.
a police report lodged at the Petaling Jaya district police headquarters this
morning, Indira said she suspected PAS-friendly NGOs, southern Thailand
separatists and “Mualaf” followers of Naik of being involved in protecting him.
said she had been informed that Mohd Riduan @ K Pathmanathan was being given
protection by these groups and “mualaf” who were inspired by Naik and his
teachings, she said in her police report sighted by FMT.
said she received a call from a private number recently. The caller said Riduan
was living under the protection of these groups in Golok, Kelantan, she
do not know the authenticity of that information but we have received
information that since September 2018 these groups are directly involved,
religious scholars giving illegal protection to Riduan and his wife and
urged the police to investigate Riduan’s new wife and the groups according to
Section 216(1) of the Penal Code, which relates to harbouring an offender who
has escaped from custody or whose apprehension has been ordered.
Diksa was one year old in 2009 when Riduan took her away from Indira.
has been battling in the courts for custody of her children and against their
unilateral conversion to Islam by Riduan.
year, the Federal Court ruled in favour of Indira when she challenged her three
children’s conversion to Islam. The court said both parents must agree on their
children’s conversion to Islam, departing from another court’s decision that
either parent can decide on the children’s religion.
court also ordered the police to locate Riduan and Prasana, and to return the
child to Indira.
police task force to track down Riduan and Prasana was set up by former
inspector-general of police Fuzi Harun on May 3.
a response to FMT yesterday on the status of the search, Fuzi’s successor,
Abdul Hamid Bador, said: “Not yet (found). I am looking actively into it.”
KINABALU, July 25 — Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal sought to steer Sabah’s attention
towards development today in an attempt to defuse anger over his deputy chief
minister’s Facebook post alleging a mass effort to convert Sabahans to Islam in
Sabah CM said that while religion was vital, arguments about it were
distracting from efforts to bring progress to the state and its people.
not fight over our differences. We need to focus our efforts and strengths on
moving forwards and developing the state,” Shafie said.
CM was asked to comment over the 20 police reports lodged by Umno Youth and
others against Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau’s claim that a senior Sabah official
had conducted mass conversion efforts some 38 years ago in Tambunan.
asserted that Tangau was simply providing an example but conceded that this
could lead to negative interpretations.
then expressed hope that Sabah as a whole could move past the incident.
we start arguing over it, it will be an endless affair. Surely we should learn
from the past. If we continue to fight over religion, we would never achieve
what we want for our future generations: good education, jobs,” he said.
erupted last Sunday after Tangau posted on Facebook claiming a Sabah official
had gone to Tambunan decades ago and held a mass Islamisation ceremony,
coercing locals to convert by threats and promises of jobs and land titles.
was comparing the unnamed official to Shafie, who had just visited the district
to deliver a RM1 million allocation to upgrade churches in the area and called
for peace, tolerance and respect between races and religion to continue.
post incited dissatisfaction among some groups who then lodge 20 police reports
Richard C. Paddock and Muktita Suhartono
— An Indonesian bookkeeper who rose to national prominence after she was
sentenced to jail for recording her boss to prove he was sexually harassing her
is expected to receive amnesty from the country’s president soon.
grant of amnesty by President Joko Widodo would reverse two Supreme Court
rulings and spare the bookkeeper, Nuril Maknun, a six-month jail term and a
$35,000 fine, in a case that has highlighted the frequent mistreatment of women
president signaled his intention to grant amnesty last week when he asked for
Parliament’s approval, which it granted Thursday. Once the president receives a
formal letter of approval from Parliament, he will issue a decree granting Ms.
Nuril amnesty, an aide to the president said.
Nuril is the real victim, not the perpetrator,” said Parliament member Erma
Suryani Ranik, using an honorific for Ms. Nuril as she read a statement from
Parliament supporting the grant of amnesty.
Nuril appeared before the Parliament, where she spoke from the podium, thanked
her supporters and urged Parliament not to let other women suffer the same
plight of Ms. Nuril, 41, resonated with women across the predominantly Muslim
nation, who have little recourse against the verbal harassment they often face
in the workplace and in public places. Indonesia’s law against sexual
harassment does not cover verbal abuse unless there is also physical contact.
case against Ms. Nuril also called attention to gender inequities in
Indonesia’s judicial system, under which Ms. Nuril was punished for recording
her boss’s lewd remarks to her but he faced no legal consequences for having
her boss, the principal at the high school where she worked, learned of the
recording, Ms. Nuril lost her job, while his career flourished.
was charged with distributing obscene material and served two months in jail
while awaiting trial. He was never charged with a crime.
case propelled Ms. Nuril, a mother of three, into the national spotlight, where
she has become a rare voice for Indonesian women and equal rights.
other women who might have experienced cases like me, we have to be brave,” she
said in an interview. “Our dignity as women, our self-worth as women, should
not be easily trampled by other people.”
troubles began six years ago, after she took a temporary bookkeeping job at
Senior High School Seven Mataram on Lombok island, east of Bali.
school’s new principal, Muslim, who like many Indonesians uses only one name,
began harassing her and insisting they have sex. He often phoned her and
described various sex acts in detail and his attentions prompted rumors that
they were having an affair.
prove that they were not, she recorded one of his lewd calls and played it for
her husband and a colleague. Months later, another colleague downloaded the
recording from Ms. Nuril’s phone while she was not present.
Muslim learned of the 15-minute recording about a year after the call. He
promised to extend her contract if she deleted it. When she refused, he fired
her and reported her to the police, accusing her of criminal defamation.
though any defamation would have been based on his own recorded words, the
police pursued the case vigorously. After repeated questioning, they arrested
Ms. Nuril in March 2017.
the defamation charge did not stick, she was put on trial for distributing
court, teachers from the school testified that they, not Ms. Nuril, had
distributed the recording. The trial court acquitted her, but prosecutors
appealed the verdict to the Supreme Court.
November, a three-judge panel found her guilty and sentenced her to six months
in jail. The high court also imposed a $35,000 fine and ordered her to serve
another three months if she could not pay it.
the ruling, President Joko said he would consider granting her clemency once
she had exhausted all her legal appeals. She appealed to the Supreme Court for
reconsideration, and this month a different three-judge panel upheld the guilty
Muslim has declined to discuss the case. But his lawyer, Asmuni, has said that
his client was the real victim and that Ms. Nuril deserved to go to jail.
have to be protected, too,” Mr. Asmuni said in a January interview. “She is an
ungrateful person and does not know her place.”
Nuril belatedly reported Mr. Muslim to the police for sexual harassment. But
the police pointed out that under Indonesian law, verbal abuse alone does not
constitute sexual harassment.
that would protect women from verbal sexual harassment has long been stalled in
Indonesia’s Parliament, where women have never held more than 20 percent of the
is not always physical,” Ms. Nuril said. “And also, we don’t have a place to
report it if we experience this. I think that will be the government’s
is unclear how Parliament would address one potential obstacle to obtaining
evidence of verbal harassment: such recordings can be construed as obscene
material under the country’s electronic communications law.
Nuril said she was grateful for the support received “from all over Indonesia,
even from abroad,” and that the ordeal had given her a new sense of purpose.
“If we stay silent, the men who commit these deeds will feel they are above
us,” she said. “We have to be brave whatever the risks.”
Singaporeans accused of intending to join the Islamic State (IS) group in Syria
have been detained without trial under the city-state’s tough security laws,
authorities said Thursday.
were the latest arrests in Singapore of people allegedly supporting the
jihadists or planning to fight with them, with the country's leaders warning it
is a prime target for an attack due to its status as a regional financial
interior ministry said a 36-year-old money-changer, Kuthubdeen Haja Najumudeen,
was arrested in May and a 47-year-old former delivery assistant, Suderman
Samikin, was detained this month.
were arrested in two separate cases under the Internal Security Act, which
allows for detention without trial for up to two years.
established that they were radicalised and had harboured the intention to make
their way to Syria to join the terrorist group Islamic State of Iraq and
Syria," the ministry said in a statement.
said Haja was a follower of Zahran Hashim, the alleged mastermind and one of
the suicide bombers in the Easter terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka which killed
258 people in April.
donated funds to Zahran and his group, though investigators did not find any
indication that he was involved in the attacks, the ministry said.
is accused of joining a pro-IS Facebook group and actively seeking advice on
how to join IS. He had been in prison previously for drug consumption.
the jihadists' "caliphate" crumbled in the Middle East, members of
the group have dispersed and are surfacing with their own operations and
networks elsewhere, including Southeast Asia.
have been a steady stream of such cases reported in recent years in Singapore,
which is majority ethnic Chinese but also has a sizeable Muslim minority.
February, authorities said that a Singaporean businessman who allegedly gave
support to a Malaysian IS militant in Syria had been arrested under the tough
hawker beaten up over Jai Shri Ram chants in Bengal, internet suspended after
prevailed in Hirapur area near here after a Muslim hawker was allegedly beaten
up and forced to chant Jai Shri Ram slogans, following which authorities have
suspended internet services and stepped up security.
the Tuesday night incident, fake videos and photographs of Hindu-Muslim riots
were being circulated on the social media to vitiate the atmosphere, police
said on Thursday, adding they have increased vigil to avoid any untoward
to officials, a Muslim hawker in his mid forties was beaten up on Tuesday
evening by a group of youths who allegedly forced him to chant Jai Shri Ram. He
was later admitted to a local hospital.
arrest has been reported in connection with the incident.
decided to snap internet services so that no one is able to vitiate the
atmosphere through use of fake videos and photographs. Police patrolling is
also on. The situation is presently under control," Asansol Police
commissioner DP Singh told PTI.
internet services will remain suspended for the time being, he said.
ruling Trinamool Congress (TMC) and the Bharatiya Janata Parrty (BJP) blamed
each other for the incident.
TMC leader and Asansol Mayor Jitendra Tiwari accused the BJP of trying to
destroy the secular fabric of the area since the victory of the saffron party
in the Lok Sabha polls.
the result of Lok Sabha polls, this has been a regular affair. The BJP thinks
it can win seats in the area in the 2021 assembly polls by creating a communal
divide," Jitendra Tiwari told PTI.
Supriyo, the Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate, had
been re-elected from Asansol this time.
BJP General Secretary Sayantan Basu denied the charges as "baseless"
and said such incidents only prove that the state government has failed to
maintain law and order.
issue of mob violence and lynching was raised by a group of 49 eminent
personalities, including filmmakers, authors and actors, who wrote to the prime
minister on Tuesday, expressing concern over such incidents.
signatories also said that they regretted that Jai Shri Ram has been reduced to
a "provocative war cry that leads to law and order problems, and lynchings
take place in its name".
to it, Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi had said no one should communalise
criminal incidents and asserted that Dalits and minorities are safe in the
Muslims making Kanwar in Haridwar: Sadhvi Prachi
Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Sadhvi Prachi has courted yet another controversy,
calling for Muslims to be shunned from making Kanwar for devotees of Lord Shiva
per cent of Muslims make Kanwar for Lord Shiva devotees in Haridwar. They
should be boycotted. They should be asked to leave from there. Hindus of my
country should get employment opportunities," Prachi said while addressing
a gathering here on Wednesday.
'Kanwar Yatra' is an annual pilgrimage of Lord Shiva's devotees. Kanwariyas
(pilgrims) visit places like Haridwar, Gaumukh and Gangotri in Uttarakhand and
Sultanganj in Bihar to fetch holy waters of River Ganga and worship the
Almighty with the same water.
another statement that could stir controversy, the VHP leader claimed that
those born in madarsas grow up to be like Mumbai terror attack mastermind and
founder of Lashkar-e-Taiba terror outfit, Hafiz Saeed.
also claimed that people like BJP MP Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur and Mahatma
Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse can never be born in madarsas.
for gender equality, justice’: Govt on triple talaq bill in Lok Sabha
Sabha on Thursday took up for consideration the contentious bill to make the
practice of instant triple talaq illegal with up to three years in jail for the
the bill for consideration, law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said the legislation
was a must for gender equality and justice as despite an August 2017 Supreme
Court verdict striking down the practice of instant triple talaq , women were
being divorced by ‘talaq-e-biddat’.
said, since January 2017, 574 such cases had been reported by the media.
ban on ‘triple talaq’ has been enforced through three ordinances issued by
Narendra Modi government as the related bill couldn’t be passed by the previous
Live Updates from the Parliament
fresh bill was introduced by the new government in June during the ongoing
the Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2019, divorcing
through instant triple talaq will be illegal, void and would attract a jail
term of three years for the erring husband.
said to allay fears that the proposed law could be misused, the government had
included certain safeguards such as provision of bail for the accused before
the bill makes triple talaq a “non-bailable” offence, an accused can approach a
magistrate even before trial to seek bail. A provision has been added to allow
the magistrate to grant bail “after hearing the wife”, the minister said.
Opposition termed the penal provision for the Muslim husband ‘discriminatory’
and also objected to the 3-year jail term for the practitioner of
‘talaq-e-biddat’ as disproportionate and counter-productive. Those opposing the
Bill said it was ‘discriminatory’ as it sought to target only Muslim women even
when the problem of abandoning-wives was not unique to the community.
leader Gaurav Gogoi said the majority enjoyed by the NDA government doesn’t
mean that Parliamentary committees--where such contentions Bills should be
debated--are bypassed. He demanded a comprehensive Bill to empower women from
all religions and sections.
Congress MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay drove the above point home by expressing
his party’s opposition to the practice of ‘triple talaq’ yet requesting the
Centre to drop the 3-year jail
term which he called “arbitrary and excessive.” “We support Muslim women who
have a problem with ‘triple talaq’. But the Bill is excessive, arbitrary as a
jailed husband can’t support his family or give maintenance to his separated
wife,” the TMC MP said
while demanding that the Bill be referred to a joint select committee.
affairs minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said the argument against 3-year jail term
was specious and mischievous as it sought to side with the guilty. “Those who
do not refrain from ‘triple talaq’ deserve to be jailed,” he said. “All the
major Islamic countries had banned “triple talaq” and therefore it couldn’t be
argued that there was even a religious ground for opposing it,” he added.
JD(U)’s MP Rajiv Ranjan Singh declared that his party will abstain from voting on
the “triple talaq” Bill as it was fundamentally opposed to any interference on
this matter and added that the Bill was likely to create mistrust within the
Muslim community. “The government should instead try to awaken the community to
women’s rights,” he said, adding that despite being a part of the NDA, his
party had a long standing policy of divergence on controversial issues
including common civil code and article 370.
Opposition accused the government of “destroying the institution of marriage”
and “divide and rule” by criminalising triple talaq through a Bill that was
passed by voice vote in the Lok Sabha on Thursday.
Congress, TMC, DMK and others demanded the Bill be sent to a Standing Committee
for further scrutiny, but the government rejected this saying it was an
“apolitical” Bill meant to give Muslim women the justice that eluded them for
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, AIMIM’s Asaduddin
Owaisi said that criminalising triple talaq does not make sense when the
Supreme Court has decriminalised gay sex and adultery. “You want to destroy the
institution of marriage and bring the women on the road,” he said. “Who will
pay her maintenance once her husband is in jail?”
asked that when the Supreme Court had banned triple talaq, why did the
government want to send Muslim men to jail for it.
the BJP, Owaisi said that if the government was so keen to give justice to
Muslim women, it should also think about the Muslim women who were “raped”
during the 2013 Muzaffarnagar riots. “There is not a single conviction in those
cases,” he said.
brought law against Jallikattu (bull-taming) but failed to bring legislation
against mob lynching of Muslims in different parts of the country. If you are
so concerned about the rights of women, I challenge you to hire a special
aircraft and take all the women MPs to Sabarimala,” he said.
issuing a whip for all its MPs to be present during the discussion and voting
on the Bill, the BJP fielded its women MPs — Meenakshi Lekhi, Poonam Mahajan,
Kirron Kher and Locket Chatterjee — to speak on the subject.
led the BJP’s defence of the Bill. Insisting that it was not on the agenda of
the BJP but of the nation, she alleged that Opposition parties could not digest
the fact Prime Minister Narendra Modi, being a Hindu, was thinking for Muslims.
According to Lekhi, there were Sharia courts running in Uttar Pradesh when
Akhilesh Yadav (SP) was chief minister. She said the government had shown
political courage by bringing this Bill and that the earlier government
resorted to appeasement to gain votes. She cited that 22 Muslim countries have
given up the practice of instant triple talaq.
Gogoi of the Congress said the SC had not asked the government to make triple
talaq a criminal offence, while his party’s Jothimani said the BJP sought to
divide and rule Muslims through this Bill. The party’s leader in the House
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said that existing laws related to domestic violence and
dowry were enough to prosecute marital discord in Muslim families.
you want to protect Muslim women who are divorced by their husbands, you should
also give protection to Hindu and Parsi women who are deserted by their
husbands,” Gogoi said.
TMC called the punishment clause “excessive, arbitrary and irrational”. “There
is three years of imprisonment to husband… He is being asked to look after his
family. Once a person will go to jail, how will it be possible?” TMC leader
Sudip Bandyopadhyay said.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s statement that about 30,000-40,000 “armed
people” who fought in Kashmir or Afghanistan were still in Pakistan as a
“glaring admission”, the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Thursday said it
is time for Islamabad to take “credible and irreversible action” against terror
is a glaring admission by the Pakistani leadership,” MEA spokesperson Raveesh
Kumar told the media. The response came a day after the Pakistan PM admitted
that about 30,000-40,000 “armed people”, who have been trained and fought in
some part of Afghanistan or Kashmir, were in Pakistan and accused the previous
governments of not telling the truth to the US about the militant groups
operating in the country.
we came into power, the governments did not have the political will, because
when you talk about militant groups, we still have about 30,000-40,000 armed
people who have been trained and fought in some part of Afghanistan or
Kashmir,” Khan said during his appearance at the US Institute of Peace, a
US-Congress funded think-tank, on Tuesday.
spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said “it is time for Pakistan to take credible and
irreversible action against terrorists”.
has persistently taken up with Pakistan the issue of cross-border terrorism,
including funding of secessionist and terror activities in Jammu and Kashmir,
but Islamabad is yet to take any action against it, the government said on
written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for External
Affairs V Muraleedharan said Pakistan has been asked to abide by its commitment
to not allow any territory under its control to be used for terrorism against
India in any manner and take credible, verifiable and irreversible steps in the
is yet to demonstrate such steps, he said.
government has, through diplomatic channels, persistently taken up with
Pakistan, the issue of cross-border terrorism, including funding of
secessionist and terrorist activities in the state of Jammu and Kashmir,” he
another question on relations with neighbouring countries, the minister said
that with Pakistan, the government desires normal neighbourly relations and is
committed to addressing all outstanding issues bilaterally and peacefully in
accordance with the Shimla Agreement and the Lahore Declaration.
any meaningful dialogue can only be held in an atmosphere free from terror,
hostility and violence,” he said.
Chief General Bipin Rawat Thursday said there is “ample proof” of what happened
in Pulwama, days after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan claimed the terror
attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel was an “indigenous thing”.
are aware of the truth. So we don’t have to get carried away by any statement.
The truth is known to us and our establishment. Our intelligence agencies had
given ample proof of what had happened in Pulwama and that is all I would like
to say,” Rawat told reporters.
who was on three-day visit to the US, made the remarks while speaking at an
event organised by Washington-based think-tank US Institute of Peace.
was a Kashmiri boy radicalised by the brutality of the security forces. He blew
himself up. But because this group claimed responsibility, which was in India
as well, Jaish-e-Mohammed is operating in India — but Pakistan suddenly came in
the limelight,” Khan said on Tuesday.
also admitted that about 30,000-40,000 “armed people”, who have been trained
and fought in some part of Afghanistan or Kashmir, were in Pakistan and accused
the previous governments of not telling the truth to the US about the militant
groups operating in the country.
and Afghanistan accuse Pakistan of providing safe haven to the Afghan Taliban,
the Haqqani network, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Lashkar-e-Taiba and other militant
groups, which carry out attacks in the two countries.
we came into power, the governments did not have the political will, because
when you talk about militant groups, we still have about 30,000-40,000 armed
people who have been trained and fought in some part of Afghanistan or
Kashmir,” Khan said.
said it is in the interest of Pakistan that “we do not allow any armed militant
groups to operate” in our country.
are the first government that has started disarming militant groups. This is
the first time it’s happening. We’ve taken over their institutes, their
seminaries. We have administrators there,” said Khan, whose Pakistan
Tehreek-e-Insaaf party formed its first federal government in August last year.
India-administered Kashmir - Visitors to Drass, a town situated at an altitude
of 10,760 feet (3,279 metres) in India-administered Kashmir, are greeted with a
signboard that says at -60 degrees Celsius on January 9, 1995, it was the
second-coldest inhabited place on the planet.
located in Kargil district, has an additional claim to fame. In the summer of
1999, it was on the western edge's rocky and barren Himalayan peaks that India
and Pakistan fought their last war.
year, Pakistan's military and Kashmiri rebels occupied strategic positions on
the Indian side of the de facto border between them (known as the Line of
Control or LoC), prompting a counteroffensive by India.
Kargil war, as it came to be known, lasted for nearly three months, killed more
than 500 Indian and nearly 400 Pakistani soldiers, and ended with India
successfully pushing back Pakistani fighters to the other side of the LoC.
Pakistan had named its move to take over the control of Indian posts along the
LoC as Operation Badr, India called its offensive Operation Vijay.
was a war fought in the era of satellite news channels. The battles were
broadcast directly to homes in both the countries, making Drass a symbol of
India's nationalism, inspiring a raft of jingoistic Bollywood movies.
year since 1999, the Indian army celebrates July 26 - the day war ended - as
"Vijay Diwas" (Victory Day), this week being its 20th anniversary.
warning to Pakistan
a Hindu nationalist government in place, the Indian army celebrated in style,
and held commemorative treks to the mountain tops where the fiercest fighting
had taken place.
Thursday, Indian army chief General Bipin Rawat was in Kargil, where he warned
Pakistan not to repeat a similar incursion "anytime, anywhere".
[Pakistan] did not appreciate the will and the intent of the Indian political
establishment and the Indian armed forces that they will never allow them to
succeed," he said.
warning to Pakistan [is]: do not ever repeat such misadventure anytime in the
future anywhere. Do not think of it," he said.
1999, Indian and Pakistani soldiers manning the mountaintop posts had an
unwritten winter armistice on the inhospitable Kargil frontier. Both sides
abandoned front line posts during the harsh winters when temperatures plunged.
Himalayan territory of Kashmir has been divided between Hindu-majority India
and Muslim-majority Pakistan since the two countries gained independence from
British rule in 1947.
India and Pakistan claim Kashmir in full, resulting in a 70-year standoff and
turning the region into one of the world's most militarised zones.
nearly 150km east of Kashmir's main city, Srinagar, is separated from the
Kashmir valley by the Himalayas. The people here are of Central Asian ancestry,
speak in the regional languages of Balti and Dardic and live in much the same
way as their forefathers did.
Hussain had to flee with his family during the war and returned to find his
house badly damaged by the shelling. He said a lot had changed since the war as
the town now attracts tourists from across India and abroad.
very few people would come to this desolate place. Now, they come and some even
stay for a night," he said.
said the harsh living conditions in the region helped heal the scars of the war quickly. "We
are cut off from the world for six months every year when we live and die on
our own. So, it's not difficult to forget a war," he said.
Hussain may claim to have "forgotten" the Kargil war, the dispute
continues to cast the longest shadow on the tenuous relations between the two
nuclear-armed neighbours, making the future of Kashmir uncertain.
hostilities between the two nations sunk to a new low in February this year,
when a Pakistan-based armed group, Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) carried out a suicide
attack on an Indian military convoy in a southern town of India-administered
Pulwama attack killed at least 40 Indian troops, triggered dogfights and air
attacks inside each other's territory, and brought India and Pakistan to the
brink of another full-scale war.
as the threat of a war appears to have subsided since, tension between the two
countries continues, freezing any dialogue.
bad to worse'
India-administered Kashmir has been in turmoil for the last three decades since
an armed rebellion against the Indian rule erupted in the early 1990s.
recent years, the almost daily confrontations between stone-throwing protesters
and armed rebels on the one side, and the Indian security forces on the other
has only worsened.
experts say not much has changed in Kashmir even after two decades of the
Delhi-based security analyst Rahul Bedi told Al Jazeera the Kashmir issue is
"responsible for India's huge military expenditure".
really seems to be changing because the political situation in Kashmir has gone
from bad to worse and nobody knows when the state elections are going to be
held," he said, referring to the federal rule imposed in the disputed
region earlier this year.
Kashmir unrest has been further compounded by New Delhi's insistence on
revoking the laws which protect the demographic structure of the only
Muslim-majority region in the country.
says such actions may create further trouble in Kashmir. India accuses Pakistan
of backing the armed rebels in Kashmir, an allegation Pakistan denies.
chances of Kargil happening again are very remote, but the fact is that Kashmir
continues to remain the fierce bone of contention between the two states and
military action cannot be ruled out entirely," Bedi said.
Islamabad-based analyst Zahid Hussain thinks a breakthrough between India and
Pakistan is possible if they engage directly and not through third-party
intervention as offered by US President Donald Trump this week.
don't see progress immediately. It won't happen soon," he said, adding
that "backchannel diplomacy" could help. He also said it's not
Kargil, but the 2008 Mumbai attacks that worsened India-Pakistan relations.
used to be open. I went to India-administered Kashmir myself. In 2008, Mumbai
happened... [It was] the turning point," he said.
Sahni, another New delhi-based defence and security analyst, told Al Jazeera
that while military clashes between the two countries has been dialed back,
"political mismanagement" may escalate the tensions.
New Delhi-based Centre for Peace and Spirituality (CPS), headed by noted
Islamic scholar Maulana Wahiduddin Khan, produced a vast amount of literature
on Islam and issues of contemporary interest, geared to a multi-faith
readership. It has also been deeply engaged in promoting peace and
understanding between Muslims and others.
of the CPS’s major activities is its Quran translation distribution programme,
in collaboration with Goodword Books, a publishing house headed by Maulana
Wahiduddin Khan’s son Saniyasnain Khan.
These attractively-designed translations are available in many regional
and international languages: English, Urdu, Hindi, Dogri, Punjabi, Malayalam,
Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Marathi, Gujarati, Bengali, German, French, Italian,
Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Russian, Chinese, Chichewa and Filipino. At
present, translations are underway in Polish, Japanese, Burmese and
CPS prefers that its English translation serves as the reference for any other
translation. But, if they get permission
to publish a translation of the Quran which has already appeared in a
particular language, they may agree publish it without alterations but adding
an Introduction by Maulana Wahiduddin Khan.
But after first print, they try to secure a translator for that same
language, and if they get a suitable one, they start a process of translating
the Quran afresh in that language.
of the translation of the Quran published by CPS/Goodword Books can be procured
from completely free of cost. All one needs to do is to fill up a simple
request form on the CPS website, which can be accessed here:
a request form is submitted, it is automatically filtered and forwarded to the
Quran Distribution Centre (QDC) of that particular country (as of now there are
QDCs in eight countries, in Asia, Europe and North America, besides India). The
QDC team then posts it locally. In India, the form is filtered state-wise and
forwarded to QDC of that particular state to handle. At present, there are QDCs
in Srinagar, Jodhpur, Meerut, Patna, Kolkata, Indore, Bombay, Bangalore,
Hyderabad, Calicut, Goa and Chennai. Requests from places where CPS does not as
yet have a QDC are handled by CPS Delhi.
addition to sending copies of the translation of the Quran to people who
request for them, CPS team members sometimes contact them and provide other
relevant literature, depending on the interest shown by them through the
remarks field on their form. CPS members also engage in free distribution of
translations of the Quran in seminars, conferences, literary fests, book fairs,
tourist attractions, schools, colleges, libraries, hospitals and prisons.
Several popular hotels in different countries have placed copies of the
translation in their rooms.
stock copies of the translation of the Quran in languages commonly spoken in
their area. In case they do not have a
copy in the requested language, they forward the request to CPS Delhi and it is
taken care of. The books are generally
sent by ordinary post, but if someone mentions that she/he wants it urgently,
it is sent by courier or speed post.
an average, CPS gets around 500 requests a month from different parts of India
for Quran translation copies, mostly for the English translation, which has
been widely acknowledged as simple, clear and easy-to-read. One can request for
one copy for each form. Requests come from both individuals and organizations
and from people of different faith backgrounds.
programme is sustained financially by the contribution of CPS members and
well-wishers. QDCs procure copies of the translations of the Quran and post
them at their own expense. Where it is not possible, Goodwoord Books sponsors
CPS launched a new website (http://www.cpsquran.com/) where translations of the
Quran can be downloaded, free of cost, in more than 25 languages.
to visit Pakistan if Imran Khan calls us, says Afghan Taliban
The Afghan Taliban on Thursday expressed willingness to travel to Pakistan and
meet PM Imran Khan if he invites them for negotiations to end the 18-year
conflict in Afghanistan, according to a media report.
statement by the Taliban came hours after Khan returned to Islamabad after his
maiden official visit to the US where he discussed the Afghan peace process
with President Donald Trump on Monday and agreed to work together to end to the
the meeting, Trump said that Pakistan would help the US "extricate"
itself from Afghanistan, adding there was "tremendous potential" in
the relationship between Washington and Islamabad. Interestingly, Khan was
accompanied by Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa, Inter-Services
Intelligence (ISI) chief Lt Gen Faiz Hameed during the talks at the White
Shaheen, a spokesman for the Taliban's political office in Qatar's capital
Doha, told the BBC Urdu that if PM Khan extended a formal invitation, they will
accept it. "We frequently visit countries in the region and would surely
go to Pakistan, too, which is our Muslim neighbour, if there is a formal
invitation from Islamabad," he said.
reports say the US is negotiating for a deal by September 1 that would see
international forces pull out of Afghanistan in return for Taliban security
guarantees, including a pledge that Afghanistan will not become a safe haven
for terror groups.
Ahead of Guru Nanak Dev's 550th birth anniversary the Pakistan government is
all set to open Gurdwara Chowa Sahib in Jhelum district of Pakistan's Punjab
even as in the recent past Pakistan government had opened Gurdwara Khara Sahib
in Gujranwala district of Pakistan's Punjab. Both the Gurdwaras had been closed
since Indo Pak partition.
Trust Property Board (ETPB) chairman Aamir Ahmad told TOI over phone from
Lahore on Thursday "We are intending to open Gurdwara Chowa Sahib very
to heavy rains and inclement weather, the Gurdwara Sahib can only be opened
next week or in ten days, he added. "We are getting the preparations done
and very soon it will be opened" said Aamir.
in January, 2019, Indian high commissioner in Pakistan, Ajay Bisaria had
visited the Gurdwara Chowa Sahib.
noted Pakistan historian Shaheed Shabbir who had visited Gurdwara Chowa Sahib
on Thursday informed that after completing four journey's (udhasi's) Guru Nanak
Dev had stayed in Jhelum for some time. Despite being close to river Ghan,
there persisted draught like conditions and locals were short of drinking
they came to know that a saint was camping near them, they approached Baba
Nanak on whose blessings a fresh water spring erupted from the ground which was
known as Amrit Kund" he said.
informed that Maharaja Ranjit Singh used to get water for drinking and bathing
from Amrit Kund.
the Gurdwara which is situated close to Rohtas Fort, Pakistan historian
informed that the double storied Gurdwara was a marvel of Mogul architecture
adding that its preservation and restoration would be given to Agha Khan
informed that like Gurdwara Khara Sahib, Gurdwara Chowa Sahib would also be
opened for Pakistani followers of Sikhism and not for Indian Sikh Jatha's.
Pakistan - Thousands of opposition supporters have rallied in major cities
across Pakistan to mark a "black day" of protests against Prime Minister
Imran Khan's government, as the country's opposition parties step up efforts to
mobilise demonstrations against his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.
were held in Karachi, Peshawar, Lahore, Quetta and the capital, Islamabad on
Thursday, addressed primarily by leaders of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz
(PML-N) and Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl (JUI-F) political parties.
this fake government, which stole votes to come into power, to give it its
final shove, if … we have to march to Islamabad against them, will Balochistan
join us?" asked PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz at a rally of thousands in the
southwestern city of Quetta.
is the daughter of three-time former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who was
dismissed from office by the Supreme Court in 2017 and convicted for corruption
a year later.
herself was also convicted in a related corruption case, but her sentence was
suspended pending the hearing of her appeal.
last year, Nawaz and her party have led a series of public protests, alleging
vote-rigging in the 2018 polls that saw Khan sweep to power. Thursday marked
exactly a year since the polls took place.
taking office, Khan's PTI has led an anti-corruption drive, arresting several
high-profile members of the opposition, including Nawaz Sharif, his brother
Shehbaz, former Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, and others.
opposition parties, too, have seen arrests, with Pakistan People's Party chief
and former President Asif Ali Zardari also currently jailed on corruption
opposition alleges that the anti-corruption drive has been selectively launched
to target political opposition. Khan's PTI says they are cleaning up Pakistan's
have to transform all institutions which had been destroyed by thieves who only
want to loot Pakistan," Khan said earlier on Thursday, addressing
supporters on his return to the country after a three-day visit to the United
of the opposition protests were covered live by Pakistan's domestic news
television channels, but PML-N leader Nawaz's demonstration was notably blacked
out, following a federal cabinet order earlier this month to ban coverage of
opposition political leaders who are under investigation for corruption.
groups have warned of "brazen censorship" taking place in Pakistan,
specifically of coverage critical of the ruling party or of opposition events.
Lahore, the country's second city, the PML-N's Shehbaz Sharif was to address a
crowd of PML-N supporters, while thousands had gathered earlier in the
northwestern city of Peshawar for another protest there.
the capital, the demonstration on Thursday appeared to be sparsely attended,
with several hundred supporters of the PML-N and JUI-F, a religious right-wing party,
gathering outside the city's press club to register their protest.
ambassador to the UN Maleeha Lodhi elected as vice president of UN's economic
ambassador to the United Nations Maleeha Lodhi was on Thursday unanimously
elected as one of the four vice presidents of the Economic and Social Council
(Ecosoc), the economic arm of the United Nations.
Lodhi, who was elected by acclamation after her candidature was endorsed by the
54-member body, will assume the Asia Pacific seat in the Ecosoc bureau.
Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the UN Mona Juul was elected by
acclamation as the president of the body, replacing Rhonda King of Saint
Vincent and the Grenadines.
with Lodhi, Permanent Representative of Armenia to the UN Mher Margaryan
(representing Eastern European states) and Deputy Permanent Representative of
Mexico Juan Sandoval Mendiolea (representing Latina American and Carribean
states) were also elected. The election for the vice president for African
states will be held later.
a post shared on Twitter, Lodhi said that her election as the vice president of
the Ecosoc is a "vote of confidence from the global community".
is at the heart of implementation of the 2030 agenda for achieving the
Sustainable Development Goals and mobilising financing for SDGs," she
to reporters following the vote, Lodhi said that her election to such an
"important organ demonstrates the faith of [the] international community
in Pakistan and the competence of its diplomats".
said Pakistan has always engaged intensely and enthusiastically with economic
and social development activities at the UN. Lodhi added that the country was
fulling engaged in the reform process of the UN Development System and played a
"leading role" in reshaping the UN system to effectively respond to
needs and challenges of the sustainable development agenda.
Permanent Representative to the UN said that in her new position, she would
play an important role in shaping the UN development agenda and would advance
the interests of developing countries, increasing synergy between the General
Assembly and Ecosoc.
vice president of the Council, I will continue to strive to build an atmosphere
of mutual trust and partnerships in the spirit of multilateralism," she
added, while attributing her win to the efforts of her team at the Pakistan
Mission to UN.
The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has established a Financial Action Task
Force (FATF) cell to ensure an effective and timely implementation of measures
against terror financing carried out through currency smuggling.
cell will seek information required for FATF-related work from the FBR, field
formations, directorates and record of meetings. The FATF cell will serve as a
focal point for all activities related to customs compliance for FATF issues.
Financial Action Task Force cell has been placed under the Director General of
Intelligence and Investigation, Islamabad.
to the notification, customs officer Waheed Marwat has been appointed head of
will also look after the charge of director, directorate of cross border
currency movement. One of the major initiatives of the FATF recommendations is
the establishment of the directorate of cross-border currency movement, which
is mainly responsible for developing a national-level profile of currency traffickers.
customs officer, Muhammad Asif, stands transferred and posted as additional
director FATF cell; Wajid Zaman as deputy director, FATF cell; Zahoor Ahmed
Mughal as superintendent FATF cell and Sajid Mehboob as intelligence officer of
the Financial Action Task Force cell.
of the FATF’s major recommendations for the Pakistan Customs is to effectively
deal with currency smuggling, a source of trade-based money laundering and
terror financing, particularly at entry and exit points of the country, and to
install a system for tracking the money trail.
custom officer said that the customs department had arrested 144 people in
currency smuggling cases over the last five years, more than 30 of them during
the outgoing fiscal year.
customs department is determining whether those involved in currency
trafficking had any link with terrorist organisations or not. The investigation
will also identify the end use of cash smuggling proceeds and investigate
travel history of the arrested persons to ascertain whether the money being
generated through cash smuggling was used by proscribed entities and
case any link is found with terror financing, the information will be shared
with the customs department and other law enforcement agencies.
the enforcement side, Pakistan Customs has seized currency worth Rs485 million
for FY 2018-19, as against Rs157m seized over the corresponding period last
year. It shows that since July 2018, the enforcement drive has produced desired
results in the wake of effective enforcement of measures to curb smuggling.
the last five years, the total amount of currency confiscated stood at Rs911m
in 118 cases. In the prosecution of arrested 144 people, 65 were convicted and
19 acquitted by the court. The court imposed Rs18.01m fine in these cases.
enhancing international cooperation in controlling smuggling, the Pakistan
Customs has so far signed 22 MoUs/agreements with foreign governments/customs
administrations for cooperation.
these agreements, requests for mutual legal assistance have been sent to
foreign counterparts for identification of linkages in currency seizures.
The National Counter Terrorism Authority (Nacta) has asked governments of
Punjab and Sindh to make effective measures regarding threats hurled at
property tycoon Malik Riaz by a wing of the banned Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan
(TTP) demanding $10 million extortion money.
to sources, Nacta informed the authorities concerned about an email of the
in-charge of the TTP’s finance wing sent to Malik Riaz containing the demand
for the extortion money.
email contains the bank account number in which the money has to be deposited,
the sources said, adding the email suggested in case of nonpayment Malik Riaz
and his family would face `dire consequences’.
make up about 9% of state prisoners, though they are only about 1% of the U.S.
population, a new report from the civil rights organization Muslim Advocates
finds. The report, released Thursday, is the most comprehensive count of
Muslims in state prisons so far.
report also sheds light on the obstacles some incarcerated Muslims face in prison
while practicing their faith.
a picture of the religious preference of state prisoners is, we think, really
important and unique," said Yusuf Saei, the author of the report.
Advocates requested religious preference data from every state, and based its
report on the records it received from 34 states and Washington D.C. Previous
data on the religious preference of federal prisoners show that Muslims make up
about 12% of that population, but that's just a small slice of a much bigger
are roughly 200,000 federal prisoners and more than 1.3 million state
prisoners," Saei said. "We can say with a high degree of confidence
this is one of the most comprehensive looks at religious preference data."
The report only focused on the Muslim population in state prisons.
how many Muslims are in state prisons, Saei said, helps prison officials
understand the importance of respecting religious practice for a significant
and growing portion of people in prison. The report also compiled 163 lawsuits
between October 2017 and January 2019 in which Muslims alleged their right to
practice was being violated.
Muslims are asking for very basic things: religiously compliant food, books,
prayer mats. But they're not receiving them in many states," Saei said.
"This idea of religious liberty is baked into the U.S. Constitution and
federal law specifically protects the religious liberty of prisoners. But our
report shows that many state prisons are arbitrarily and illegally preventing
incarcerated Muslims from practicing their faith."
report compared state policies and found they were inconsistent. Some are very
accommodating; others are not accommodating at all. For example, the report
finds that only 17 states specifically allow religious head coverings. It also
finds that more and more states are fully accommodating Muslim dietary
requirements--halal-certified meals. But there are states that still make
access to alternative meals difficult or impossible.
state policies do provide for full accommodation of Muslim diet requests.
Others, however, provide diminished diet substitutes or no substitutes at
all," the report said. "And in some cases, the paucity of diet
accommodations may coerce individuals into violating their dietary
report provides examples of the inconsistent and in some cases burdensome state
policies for Muslim prisoners. In Nevada, for example, to get a meat-substitute
diet a prisoner has to pass a diet accommodation interview. In North Dakota, there
is a "60-day sincerity test" for anyone who changes religions and has
a new religious dietary requirement as part of the practice.
report recommends some straightforward policies for prisons to facilitate
Muslim religious practices such as permitting individual and group prayers for
Muslims and training officers on how to make that happen. It also recommends
giving prisoners with works assignments days off on their religious holidays,
creating clear policies on burial practices that allow for Muslims to be buried
within their faith traditions and allowing religious head coverings for men and
religious practice is legally protected by the Religious Land Use and
Institutionalized Persons Act, passed by Congress in 2000. That law states the
government can't impede a prisoner's free exercise of religion without a
that I want to do or congregate activities that I might want to engage in with
other prisoners, if they're done in the name of religion have a higher degree
of protection than those same activities such as gathering together or studying
together if they're not done in the name of religion," said Martin Horn.
He teaches at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice and is the former
secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections.
said for the most part, state prisons respect federal law that protects
religious practice for prisoners. And when prisoners sue over violations of
religious practice, it's difficult for the state to win.
state has a very high burden to overcome to avoid allowing them to practice
their faith at all and that means not allowing the prayer books, not allowing
them to gather for prayer, not allowing access to services of an Imam,"
Horn said. "Once something is considered a religious practice, it has to
be allowed unless there is a substantial burden on the state and there is no
other way to mitigate that burden."
advocates point to cases like the recent execution of a Muslim prisoner in
Alabama earlier this year. His request for an Imam to be present when he was
put to death was denied by the Supreme Court in a 5-4 decision. The majority
opinion said the prisoner had waited too long to make the request. In the
dissenting opinion, Justice Elena Kagan wrote that the decision was
Muslim prison chaplains say the current political climate affects the treatment
of Muslim prisoners. That's problematic for people with so little control over
Aquil, the Muslim chaplain credited with developing the halal meal program in
California's state prisons, said he saw that play out before he retired in
2017. Like when a Muslim prisoner's prayer time coincided with the inmate
guard sees that he's literally praying and he sees that he's actually in his
cell so he could literally count him right there, 'I can see you, you're
praying so I know you haven't escaped," Aquil said. "But they would
stop, they would yell at him and they would curse him."
he was praying rather than responding to the roll call.
decisions made by the prisons that are obstacles to Muslims practicing their
faith come out of ignorance, concerns about costs, like meal plans, or real
security concerns like an emergency in the middle of Friday prayer, Aquil said.
corrections officers live in the real world, he said, and the anti-immigrant,
racist and anti-Muslim rhetoric spouted by the current administration has an
of us who've worked in an environment where we're trained are told that we should
leave our political and any other attitudes that we have at the front gate when
we come to work and that we should treat everyone equal," Aquil said.
"Very few human beings that I know of have this on and off switch where
they simply can disengage from hearing last night 'lock her up' or 'send her
back' and then come into the prison and see the people who are attired in the
same way or have the same face or something like that. So sometimes it's subtle
and sometimes it's much more overt."
Aquil said it's important to note that over-representation of Muslims in prison
isn't indicative of a lot of Muslims being arrested and convicted.
90 percent of incarcerated Muslims in the United States become Muslims during
their incarceration," he said. "Most of the people that are in prison
tend to be repeat offenders and so at some point in time they seem to become
aware that they have run the gambit and maybe it's time for a change."
RIVER, N.J. — A New Jersey school board member is refusing to resign or
apologize for disparaging two Muslim congresswomen and Islam on social media.
Leonard said at a Toms River school board meeting Wednesday he has a right to
free speech as over a dozen speakers chastised him for his personal Facebook
remarks about Democratic Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib urging a hunger strike
over U.S. treatment of migrants, he wrote: “my life would be complete if
she/they die.” In another post he described Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan
Omar, also a Muslim, as a terrorist.
also shared a derogatory meme with an image of a bruised “Sharia Barbie’ doll
in a headscarf.
United States and Afghanistan said on Thursday they have agreed to accelerate
efforts to reach a negotiated end to the conflict in the war-ravaged country.
a joint statement, Washington and Kabul said the agreement had been reached in a
telephone call between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Afghan President
Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday.
had asked for clarifications following President Donald Trump’s remark that the
United States could easily win the war in Afghanistan but didn’t “want to kill
10 million people.”
assured Ghani that “there has been no change to President Trump’s South Asia
strategy, including US commitment to a conditions-based drawdown” of troops,
the statement said.
said Pompeo and Ghani had agreed that “now is the time to accelerate efforts to
reach a negotiated end to the war in Afghanistan.”
Joseph Dunford, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Washington’s
special envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, had been sent to Kabul to “discuss
in detail the next steps on the road to peace,” the statement said.
is then expected to head to Doha to resume talks with the Taliban.
has held several meetings with the Islamist militants in the past year, the
most recent being on July 9, also in Doha.
the major hurdle has so far been the Taliban’s refusal to negotiate directly
with the Afghan government.
least 10 people -- including several women and a child -- were killed and
scores more wounded by a series of blasts that rocked the Afghan capital on
Thursday ahead of the election season.
families are suing the Trump administration for the hardships and
"unbearable burdens" they've experienced stemming from the US travel
complaint filed Monday in the Central District of Southern California says that
"unreasonable administrative delays" for processing travel ban
waivers, among other reasons, has caused the defendants distress. It paints a
picture of separated spouses and broken families suffering "a range of
most recent version of the ban has been in effect since December 2017 and
blocks travel from several countries, most of which are predominantly Muslim.
ban allows for visas to be issued on a case-by-case basis with a waiver under
to the proclamation signed by President Donald Trump, waivers are intended for
those who can demonstrate that their entry would not pose a threat to national
security and would be in the national interest and for whom denial of entry
would cause "undue hardship."
the group suing -- all of whom are US citizens or permanent residents and their
Iranian relatives who are visa applicants -- have waited "unreasonable
amounts of time" -- an average of 447 days at the time the lawsuit was
filed -- for travel ban waivers, the complaint says.
days have been filled with unbearable hardships and a constant state of
distress that, absent intervention, will last indefinitely," the complaint
has reached out to the State Department for comment.
592 day wait
waiting has been detrimental for the defendants named in the lawsuit, the
Darchini, a US citizen who lives in Irvine, California, experienced
"severe anxiety, stress, and depression as a result of being separated
from her husband," according to the complaint.
problems have also triggered other health problems for her," the complaint
says. "She feels like she and her husband are being punished, but she
doesn't know why."
met her husband, Amin Sirati, in 2013 when she was in Iran visiting her parents
and they were married two years later.
September 2015, they petitioned for his visa and Sirati had his interview in
July 2017, where he was told "everything looks good" and his visa
would be ready in 2 months, according to the complaint.
Darchini's husband, who works as a dentist in Iran, has yet to make it to the
US. His waiver has been pending since December 8, 2017.
told CNN he's constantly trying to do everything in his power to get people to
listen to his case. And he's awake nearly all hours of the day trying to match
his wife's time zone, a time difference of 11.5 hours.
to get out
Morrison, the lead attorney on the case, told CNN his work with Yemeni families
desperate to reunite following the travel ban inspired him to file the lawsuit.
he realized the Iranian community was faced with similar hurdles, Morrison said
he began using multiple social media platforms to spread the word that he
wanted to help.
used encrypted apps to communicate with his clients, he said, as many Iranians
fear for their safety. Not all defendants are named in the lawsuit, for fear of
prosecution in their country, Morrison said.
of another ban has left them desperate to be with their loved ones, he said.
Durdak, Yunus Turk
U.S. business people in Turkey see the country's investment environment positive
although the Turkish economy has been facing some problems with foreign
currencies, inflation and interest rates since mid-2018.
the government's measures, the country entered a rebalancing period since the
first quarter of this year.
Beasey, Middle East and Africa regional manager of Will-Burt -- a global
manufacturer of integrated towers and masts for lighting, communication, and
surveillance purposes -- said the U.S. investors are happy to do business in
see Turkey as a really good investment environment for us," Beasey, also
the former chairman of the American-Turkish Council, told Anadolu Agency.
Turkey and the U.S. have some issues, more recently in the defense sector,
"we believe there are many other opportunities to do business together to
grow our industries in multiple sectors," he added.
also said the defense sector was the beating heart for the relations between
Turkey and the U.S. for many years.
is not only a country of good engineering and labor standards, but also one
with a very competitive cost of labor, he said.
also stressed that Turkey is a hub for U.S. business people to access the
African, Middle Eastern, Central Asian and European markets.
Anderson, the CEO of Anderson Economic Group, a consulting firm in public
policy and business which has been operating in Turkey since 2012, said that
Turkey had troubles but it will turn the corner and surmount the difficulties.
is a very attractive country for investments with competitive business costs,
said that for a lot of people in the U.S. and Europe, Turkey seems like a very
United States blocked the United Nations Security Council from passing a
resolution condemning Israel’s demolition on Monday of about 70 homes in 10
apartment buildings in a Jerusalem suburb controlled by the Palestinian
homes in the village of Wadi Hummus, part of the Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sur
Baher, were all built in an area controlled by the Palestinian Authority and
with the PA's permission. Israel, however, said the buildings were too close to
the separation wall dividing Israel and the occupied West Bank and therefore
posed a security threat in violation of construction codes.
condemned the demolitions – carried out after residents lost their case in
Israeli court – as a politicised assault on their sovereignty and Palestinian
communities in Jerusalem.
international players like the UN, European Union, United Kingdom, Germany, France,
and Saudi Arabia quickly condemned the development.
Tuesday, Indonesia, Kuwait and South Africa circulated a draft statement
expressing grave concern over the demolition that “undermines the viability of
the two-state solution and the prospect for just and lasting peace,” according
to Reuters, who viewed the statement.
US reportedly refused to support the statement, which needs a consensus within
the UNSC to pass, and additionally rejected a revised version.
captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem in 1967, and soon after
annexed the latter. Israel approves barely any building requests in Palestinian
parts of east Jerusalem and Area C of the West Bank under its control. In turn,
Israeli authorities frequently demolish Palestinian homes and structures in
these areas built illegally without the required, hard-to-obtain permits.
demolitions in Wadi Hummus, however, gained international attention both
because of the large number of buildings affected and because of the community’s
location inside Area A of the West Bank, where per the 1993 Oslo peace accords
the semi-autonomous Palestinian Authority is in charge.
also said they worried these demolitions could set a new precedent for
displacing more residents located along the PA side of the wall.
is already common for Israeli military forces, in coordination with Palestinian
security forces, to enter into Palestinian-controlled parts of the West Bank to
arrest people or conduct information-gathering operations.
Western-backed PA, set up as an interim five-year government as part of Oslo,
is unpopular among Palestinians, who say they are fed up with years of
mismanagement, corruption, and no end in sight to the occupation.
attacks on the PA by US President Donald Trump and his administration –
including cutting off aid and moving the US embassy to disputed Jerusalem – and
the PA’s subsequent refusal to deal with the US administration’s reported peace
plan has increased the PA’s popularity.
the UN and other countries condemned the Wadi Hummus demolitions as a threat to
the two-state solution, Palestinians often cite these developments as evidence
that on the ground prospects for a two-state solution failed long ago.
of Islamic State fighters to sue Australia over repatriation
faces a lawsuit aimed at forcing the government to repatriate Islamic State
fighters' wives and children from a Syrian refugee camp, lawyers for their
families told AFP Thursday.
threat of a lawsuit comes the same day as parliament passed legislation to
prevent Australian citizens who have fought for the Islamic State from
returning home for up to two years under so-called "temporary exclusion
for the Australia-based families of nearly 30 women and children currently held
in Syria's Al-Hawl camp said the firm was preparing to refer their case to the
Federal Court in coming days.
Condon, of the Melbourne law firm Stary Norton Halphen, said the government had
a legal obligation to protect Australian civilians abroad and called for a
timeframe for the extraction of the families living in conditions she described
as "increasingly volatile and dangerous".
urgency therefore arises from the hellish conditions of the camp, and the
psychological damage that is caused to children when they are being
indefinitely detained," Condon told AFP.
orphans of two Australian IS fighters were removed from the camp in June into
the care of Australian officials.
understand that it is not an easy logistical task, and that it may take
time," Condon said of repatriating the remaining families.
know that it is a possible task however, as they have already successfully
returned two families to Australia -? we commend those efforts, and urge the
efforts to be extended to all women and children."
Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said he had "a lot of sympathy" for
children born to foreign fighters abroad, but the government had to be
"cognisant of the threat" that some of the women and older children
could pose if they were to return.
women have been dragged by their husbands into the Middle East in horrific
circumstances and there are others who are willing participants and are an
equal threat to Australians," he told reporters in Canberra on Wednesday.
fate of foreign fighters and their families has become a significant problem
for governments as the conflict against IS draws to a close.
legal action has been launched against the French and German governments, and
several European countries have repatriated children from Syria in recent
has said the government was aware of 80 Australians who remained in active
conflict zones after travelling to Iraq and Syria.
firm said it has identified at least 40 Australian children in al-Hawl camp
alone, an unknown number of whom were born abroad.
(Reuters) - Prosecutors have charged two workers at a cyber security company
with terrorism as part of an investigation into Bulgaria’s biggest-ever data
breach, a lawyer for the defendants said on Wednesday.
Yankov, a manager at the company Tad Group, has been charged and released from
custody, Georgi Stefanov said.
charges of crime against information systems against Kristian Boykov, a
20-year-old cyber security worker at the same company, have been changed to
terrorism, he added.
deny wrongdoing, Stefanov said.
were not immediately available for comment.
are very surprised with these charges,” Stefanov told Reuters. “How do you
charge someone with terrorism but let them go?” he added.
Tuesday, police raided the offices of Tad Group, seizing computers and
detaining a manager over last month’s cyber attack on the tax agency, in which
nearly every Bulgarian adult’s personal data and financial records were
was conditionally released from custody last Wednesday, but banned from leaving
have said they believe Boykov did not act alone and were looking for others in
connection with the attack.
believe Boykov was behind an email sent from someone purporting to be a Russian
hacker who was offering stolen tax agency files to local media. They do not currently
believe the attack came from abroad.
said decrypted data from one of Boykov’s computers led them to conclude for the
time being that he had the stolen data before it was published online.
tax agency is facing a fine of up to 20 million euros($22.5 million) over the
breach, which officials have said compromised about 3% of the agency’s
to financial newspaper Capital, the leaked data also included files from the
EU’s anti-fraud network EUROFISC, which allows national tax administrations to
share information on fraudulent activities and combat organized VAT fraud.
Wednesday, the tax agency said it would contact 189 Bulgarians whose full
names, personal identification numbers, addresses and ID card details were among
the leaked data.
other more than four million Bulgarians affected by the breach do not need to
change their ID cards, the agency said.
never expected to see his grandchildren again after his daughter took them with
her when she followed her husband to Syria to join ISIS in 2014.
five years later, Visar – not his real name – stands watching his five
grandchildren playing in the inner courtyard of his simple home surrounded by
rolling hills and cornfields in a remote village 20 kilometres north of the
Kosovan capital Pristina. “The youngest was six-months-old when they went to
Syria and the last [grandchild] was not born yet”, he says, lighting one
cigarette after another.
he had known of his daughter’s plan to follow her husband, “I would have done
everything to stop them,” he says. “My daughter was threatened by her husband
and she was forced to follow him. They made a mistake.
it better to leave them in Syria or try to correct their path? If my daughter
was wrong, she will pay for her mistakes, but my grandchildren are innocent
creatures” he says.
daughter, Edina (also not her name), was married to Arbenin Demolli. He was one
of the 316 Kosovars who joined ISIS but was killed in a US airstrike in Aleppo
in a few months after their arrival.
he was killed, his wife and children remained in Syria, moving across ISIS
territories first to Hasaka in the northeast and then to Raqqa.
to Visar, she was forced to marry a second husband, a Kosovar man who is the
father of her youngest child. The couple lived in Raqqa until it was liberated
in 2017, when they were arrested by US-backed Kurdish forces.
husband went to jail while Edina and her five children were sent to Ain Issa
camp and then moved to Al Hol camp alongside thousands of other former ISIS
he was killed, his wife and children remained in Syria until the Kosovo
government repatriated 110 people – mostly wives and children of ISIS fighters
–in April this year. Edina and her children were among the group.
very happy to be at home”, Edina says in Arabic standing by the front door of
her father’s house. “I’m lucky”. Edina can’t say much else as she isn’t
supposed to talk to journalists. She is under house arrest and will face a
criminal trial, but her shy smile reveals her relief at being home.
other families of ISIS fighters have not been so lucky to get home. Most are
still in camps like Al Hol in north-eastern Syria.
now live in overcrowded and squalid conditions. “In Al Hol camp alone there are
75,000 people and approximately 12,000 are foreign women and children in a
state of semi-detention, exposed to violence. It’s a ticking-time-bomb”, says
Domenico Chirico, Syria Programme Director for the Italian NGO Un Ponte Per.
human rights chief Michelle Bachelet has urged the international community to
repatriate families of ISIS fighters.
European governments – including France, Britain, Germany, and Belgium – have
repatriated only small numbers of women and children, leaving most stuck in an
however – whose claim of independence from Serbia is recognised by around half
the members of the UN and is considered the youngest state in Europe – has
launched a unique rehabilitation project for repatriated ISIS families
involving psychiatrists, family psychotherapists, imams and female preachers
a kind of bridge between [the women] and society. I visit them and I help them
to understand what is the real value of Islam and to live a normal life again”,
explains Sanie Gashi Mehmeti, a Muslim preacher from Lipjan, 20 kilometres
south of Pristina. She has more than ten years of experience in women’s
prisons. “At the same time, I work with the society to help them accepting those
women and children”, she says.
Kosovo is 90 per cent Muslim, most of the population is deeply secular.
society, therefore, stigmatizes the families of those who went to Syria. For
this reason, part of the rehabilitation project includes regular meetings with
neighbours and villagers in their communities.
colleagues and I work with the local population so that the community can
accept and reintegrate these women and their children,” says Ms Mehmeti. “It is
not an easy process. If they have committed a crime they must be punished. If
they have not, they must be helped and reintegrated.
if we leave them in those places or we abandon them, they can become even more
dangerous. In life, we may commit a mistake but we must teach them the right
direction and prevent children from growing up with wrong ideas about
Islam", she says.
is a long-term process that changes according to the specific circumstances of
individual cases”, says Valbona Tafilaj, the coordinating doctor for mental
health under the government's rehabilitation and reintegration programme for
women and children in their homes.
some [women] it will take years, but since we started the initial psychotherapy
sessions [we found] the most visible symptoms for everyone, women and children,
are post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), backtracking and depression”, she
psychiatric programme includes home visits, individual and family sessions,
outdoor activities and a process of reintegration into society through school
and training courses.
this programme, we first deal with the trauma then we try to work on ideology,”
says Ms Tafilaj.
of [the families] did not choose to go to Syria but were forced by their
husbands. Others have become radicalized. All, however, have lived four or five
years under ISIS and under that ideology. Including children", the doctor
repatriation and rehabilitation program, developed over more than two years,
has no guaranteed result. But those involved say it’s their best chance for the
women and their societies.
is the best solution for this situation and is managed by the state”, explains
Mensur Hoti, director of the Public Safety Department of Kosovo.
Turkish National Youth Philharmonic Orchestra took to the stage for a special
festival in Berlin, Germany on Wednesday night.
orchestra performed Beethoven’s 8th Symphony, Rachmaninoff's 2nd Piano
Concerto, Carl Maria Von Weber's Der Freischutz, and Fusun Koksal's Silent
Echoes at the Konzerthaus hall.
Turkish conductor Cem Mansur led the orchestra during the performance for the
Young Euro Classic festival.
by its performance, the audience gave the orchestra a standing ovation.
has offered an olive branch to Turkey, Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said
Minister [Kyriakos Mitsotakis] has offered an olive branch to Turkey. It is
obviously according to the respect for international law and agreements,”
Dendias told local TV channel SKAI.
was referring to Mitsotakis’ remarks at a General Assembly meeting last week,
in which he said: “I call on [Turkish President Recep] Tayyip Erdogan for a
mutual approach in which we will take brave steps.”
that the two countries have deep-rooted ties, Dendias said Athens would meet
Ankara in the current “international context”.
noted that Greece’s stance on the Cyprus issue is obvious and they have put it
forward at the European Union (EU) level.
also said there are no meetings with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu
on the agenda “for now”.
ties have been at odds especially due to recent developments in the Eastern
has consistently contested the Greek Cypriot administration’s unilateral
drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting that the Turkish Republic of
Northern Cyprus (TRNC) also has rights to resources in the area.
this spring, Ankara has sent two drilling vessels -- Fatih and most recently
Yavuz -- to the Eastern Mediterranean, asserting the rights of Turkey and the
TRNC over the resources of the region.
Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Thursday said that Russia’s move allowing visa-free
travel to Turkish citizens was a fruit of their friendly relations.
Russian move allowing visa-free travel to Turkish citizens is a result of warm
relations and dialogue," Erdogan said addressing a joint news conference
with Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad.
a decree signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Turkish holders of special
and service passports paying short-term visits to Russia will no longer need to
said that the two leaders discussed cooperation between Turkey and Malaysia as
two D-8 members and strategic partners.
went on to say that solidarity between Turkey, Malaysia and Pakistan is
necessary for unity of the Islamic world.
echoed the statement saying: “Cooperation between Malaysia and Turkey will help
to relieve the Muslim Ummah from being subjugated by others.”
are easy to make. But to have an effective action is far more important. That
is why I proposed that three Muslim countries should work together. At least
these three [Turkey, Malaysia and Pakistan]. So that we can speak with a louder
voice in terms of many areas; defense, for example.”
praised Turkey calling it a role model welfare state.
Muslim countries should be developed. Someone has to provide it, and we can say
that Turkey is a candidate country for this cause,” said Mahathir.
upon a question, talked about the release of Hakan Atilla, a former Turkish
banking executive, from a federal U.S. prison last week and said that they will
meet after Atilla spends time with his family first.
time in prison and all that process upset me and my colleagues [...] There is
no barrier between Hakan Atilla and us. He is our son. We will embrace him,” he
arrest came after Turkish businessman Riza Sarraf was arrested in 2016 in the
U.S. for violating sanctions on Iran. Cooperating with prosecutors, he gave
testimony against Atilla which was used to convict the banker.
Israeli parties form alliance against Netanyahu’s Likud ahead of Sept. vote
Israeli parties have formed an alliance to boost bloc against Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud Party in September’s do-over general election.
Meretz led by newly-elected leader Nitzan Horowitz, and the newly-formed
Democratic Party led by former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak said on
Thursday that they had built up an alliance called the Democratic Camp.
a union is not likely to pose a serious threat to Netanyahu’s Likud but it
could act as a catalyst for further mergers among smaller parties, fractioning
both the left-wing and right-wing vote.
won a fifth term in office in the April elections after his right-wing Likud
Party won 35 of the Knesset's 120 seats. He had until 21:00 GMT on May 29 to form
a cabinet that controlled at least 61 seats in the 120-member parliament.
despite weeks of negotiations, he failed to bridge the gap between secular and
in May, Israeli legislators voted by 74 to 45 to dissolve the Knesset, setting
the regime on the path to a snap election due to take place in September 17.
barely passed the threshold in April snap elections. The Democratic Party, for
its part, would not make it into the Knesset through the September’s vote,
opinion surveys show.
initiators of the union believe that forming the Democratic Camp is the first
and crucial step in the mission of bringing Israel back on track,” said a
statement from the alliance on Thursday.
union was facilitated by Stav Shaffir of Labor, who will win the second place
on the list. Labor head Amir Peretz, who will receive the first place, rejected
the notion of joining forces with Meretz.
alliance will be led by Horowitz, with Barak taking the tenth place on the
July 18, Gesher Party chair Orly Levy-Abekasis and Peretz also announced their
joint run in the September election.
whose fifth term in office has been jinxed, vowed at the time that his
conservative party would win the new vote.
coalition talks reached a stalemate over disagreements between ultra-Orthodox
parties and Yisrael Beiteinu, a secular right-wing party led by former minister
of military affairs Avigdor Lieberman, on a military conscription bill.
the Knesset decision in late May, Lieberman wrote on his Facebook page that
Likud held responsibility for the repeat election because of its refusal to
vote on a bill to draft the ultra-Orthodox.
however, said Lieberman misled his voters and was dragging the entire Israel
into a new election "after he was the cause of the previous one too, just
because he wants a few more votes, which he won’t get. It’s just
police have ordered four Palestinians to stay out of the al-Aqsa Mosque
compound over the alleged harassment of a pro-Tel Aviv Saudi blogger at the
Qous, the head of the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society’s (PPS) office in
Jerusalem al-Quds, said on Thursday that the Israeli police had summoned the
four Palestinians, along with two journalists and three al-Aqsa guards, after
Saudi blogger Mohammed Saud was cursed and jeered at during his visit to the
said that Malik al-Nabulsi, 14, had been handed a deportation order from
al-Aqsa Mosque for 15 days.
other three Palestinians, he added, had also been ordered to stay out of the
holy site for different periods, with the possibility of being extended.
is one of six Arab journalists and bloggers who travelled to the occupied
Palestinian territories at the invitation of the Israeli foreign minister.
Monday, he was filmed being chased out of the Old City of Jerusalem al-Quds as
angry Palestinians spitted on him while others threw plastic chairs at him,
accusing him of being a traitor and a Zionist.
NATIONS: The United States on Wednesday blocked an attempt by Kuwait, Indonesia
and South Africa to get the United Nations Security Council to condemn Israel’s
demolition of Palestinian homes on the outskirts of Jerusalem, diplomats said.
said the 10 apartment buildings demolished on Monday, most of them still under
construction, had been built illegally and posed a security risk to Israeli
armed forces operating along a barrier that runs through the occupied West
officials, who had called on Israel to halt the demolition plans, said 17
Palestinians faced displacement.
Indonesia and South Africa circulated a five-paragraph draft statement, seen by
Reuters, to the 15-member Security Council on Tuesday that expressed grave
concern and warned that the demolition “undermines the viability of the
two-state solution and the prospect for just and lasting peace.”
statements have to be agreed by consensus and on Wednesday the United States
told its council counterparts it could not support the text, diplomats said. A
revised three paragraph draft statement was circulated, but the United States
again said it did not agree with the text, diplomats said.
United States has long accused the United Nations of anti-Israel bias and
shielded its ally from council action.
demolition of the Palestinian buildings is part of the latest round of
protracted wrangling over the future of Jerusalem, home to more than 500,000
Israelis and 300,000 Palestinians.
Palestinians want a state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip with east Jerusalem
as the capital, all territory captured by Israel in 1967.
President Donald Trump’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt and senior Trump
adviser Jared Kushner have spent two years developing a peace plan they hope
will provide a framework for renewed talks between Israel and the Palestinians.
told the Security Council on Tuesday a peace plan cannot rely on global
consensus, inconclusive international law and “unclear” UN resolutions,
sparking pushback from several countries. He said a decision on the release of
the political component of the US plan would be made “soon.”
buildings demolished on Monday were near what Israel describes as a security
barrier. The initial draft Security Council statement described the
construction of the wall by Israel as contrary to international law.
President Hassan Rouhani appeared to signal Wednesday that his country might be
willing to release a British-flagged oil tanker it seized—in return for the
UK's release of a detained Iranian tanker.
a speech during a weekly cabinet session, Rouhani said Iran did not want to
have continued "tensions with some European countries."
if they are committed to international frameworks and abandon some actions,
including what they did in Gibraltar, they will receive a proper response from
Iran," he said during the session, according to the state-run Islamic
Republic News Agency.
UK and Gibraltar seized the Iran-flagged tanker Grace 1 in early July. UK
authorities alleged the tanker was attempting to transport oil to Syria, a
violation of EU sanctions.
in turn, seized the British-flagged Stena Impero last week, alleging that the
ship had violated "international regulations."
praised Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, saying the seizure ensured
security in the Gulf. "The IRGC courageously seized the British ship
because it had refused all the orders and warnings. They did a very accurate,
professional and right job. and I believe that the whole world must be grateful
to the Islamic Revolution Guards for ensuring the security of the Persian
Gulf," he said.
(Reuters) - The top military adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali
Khamenei said on Wednesday that Tehran would not negotiate with the United
States under any circumstances, an apparent hardening of its position as the
Gulf tanker crisis escalates.
Swedish operator of a British-flagged oil tanker seized by Iran in the Gulf
last week said it had been able to speak to crew members and all 23 of them
had direct contact with the crew on board the vessel last night by telephone
and they’re all okay and in good health and they’re getting good cooperation
with the Iranians on board,” Stena Bulk spokesman Pat Adamson said.
company said it had no evidence that the ship had been involved in a collision,
one of the reasons Iran has cited for sending commandos to capture it last
tough remarks by Khamenei’s aide, Hossein Dehghan, a senior commander of Iran’s
elite Revolutionary Guards whose views are seen as reflecting those of
Khamenei, appeared to take a firm line in response to Western proposals to beef
up security in the Strait of Hormuz in the wake of the seizure of the ship.
said Iran would take action if the status of the strait were altered, and that
no country would be allowed to ship oil through it unless all countries can.
remarks were reported by Al Jazeera television which did not supply direct
quotes of an interview with him. He singled out the United Arab Emirates for
criticism, saying it had become a base for attacks on Iran, and repeated
earlier Iranian threats to attack all U.S. targets in the region in the event
remarks appear to shift the Iranian position on talks with the United States.
In the past Tehran has said talks are possible although Washington must lift
all sanctions first and return to the nuclear deal it abandoned last year.
Trump administration says the purpose of its sanctions is to force Iran to the
negotiating table, and it is open to talks, but Iran must make the first move.
on Wednesday, Iran’s pragmatist president, Hassan Rouhani, who has drawn fire
from hardline clerical leaders for reaching the nuclear pact with world powers
in 2015, said Iran was ready for “just negotiations” but not if they mean
has called for a European-led naval mission to ensure safe shipping through the
world’s most important oil artery after Iran seized the Stena Impero last week.
The United States is trying to rally support for a global coalition to secure
Gulf waters, although allies have been reluctant to join a U.S.-led mission for
fear of escalating confrontation.
Italy and Denmark gave initial support to the British plan. A German Foreign
Ministry spokesman said Berlin was talking to Britain and France about the
July 25 (Xinhua) -- Yemen's Houthi rebels said they launched a drone attack at
a Saudi air base early on Thursday, Houthi-run al-Masirah TV reported.
attack targeted King Khaled Air Base in the border city of Khamis Mushait in
southwestern Saudi Arabia, said the television.
Turki Al Maliki, spokesman of the Saudi-led coalition involved in the Yemeni
war, denied the reports that King Khaled Air Base was targeted by the Houthis'
drone was intercepted and destroyed without causing casualties, he was quoted
by the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya television as saying.
rebels have recently stepped up drone attacks on Saudi Arabia, but most of the
drones were intercepted by the kingdom's air forces.
president Mahmoud Abbas said Thursday he has decided to stop implementing
agreements with Israel amid worsening relations between the two sides.
issued a statement following a meeting of PLO leaders in Ramallah on Thursday.
The president said he would form a committee to advance ending all signed
agreements with Israel, but it wasn’t clear such a move had a timeline.
announce the leadership’s decision to stop implementing the agreements signed
with the Israeli side,” he said in a speech in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
president’s remarks came three days after Israel leveled several buildings it
says were built too close to its West Bank separation barrier after a
years-long legal battle.
restated his opposition to President Donald Trump’s “Deal of the Century”
between Israel and the Palestinians, and said that “Palestine and Jerusalem are
not for sale or bargain.”
had previously not spoken so clearly and definitively of a break in
cooperation, although Palestinian officials have in the past made threats to
stop implementing all accords with Israel.
said the Palestinians would immediately form a committee to study how to carry
out the decision.
two governments work together on matters ranging from water to security, and
withdrawing from agreements could impact security in the occupied West Bank.
84, has made similar threats before and not implemented them.
relations between Abbas’s government, based in the West Bank, and its Israeli
counterpart have worsened in recent months.
February, the Jewish state decided to deduct around $10 million a month from
tax revenues it collects on behalf of the Palestinians, corresponding to the
amount it said the Palestinian Authority pays to families of prisoners or
directly to inmates in Israeli jails.
sees such payments as encouraging attacks while Palestinians see them as
support for families who have often lost their main breadwinner.
Palestinians have in response refused to take any of the roughly $180 million
in monthly tax revenues until the full amount is transferred, leaving Abbas’s
PA in financial crisis.
on Monday demolished 12 Palestinian apartment buildings, many of which were
still under construction, in the Sur Baher area which straddles the West Bank
said they were built too close to its separation barrier that cuts off the West
Bank, but the demolitions were condemned by Palestinian leaders, as well as the
European Union and UN officials.
Defense Minister Hulusi Akar met with military officials to discuss a possible
operation in northern Syria, the ministry said on Thursday, a day after Ankara
warned it would act if a planned safe zone could not be agreed with the United
said on Wednesday it had “run out of patience” with the United States in talks
over the formation of the zone, after Turkish and US officials held a series of
meetings on the planned safe zone and other developments in the region.
conveyed our views and requests to the delegation that came here. We expect
them to evaluate these and answer us immediately,” the ministry quoted Akar as
saying in a statement.
air defenses intercepted a Houthi militia drone targeting a southwestern city
on Thursday, the Arab Coalition said, as cross-border attacks by the militia
showed no let-up.
drone targeting civilians in the city of Khamis Mushait has been intercepted and
destroyed,” coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki told the official Saudi Press
denied claims made by the Houthi on their Al-Masirah television that drones
targeting the King Khaled airbase in Khamis Mushait had “achieved their goals
are lies,” he said, calling the attack “another act by the militias that is
akin to a war crime.”
Houthis have stepped up missile and drone attacks across the border in recent
civilians were wounded in a July 2 Houthi attack on Abha airport in the south
of the kingdom, the coalition said.
June 12 missile attack on the same airport wounded 26 civilians, drawing
warnings of “stern action” from the coalition.
on June 23, an attack on Abha airport killed a Syrian and wounded 21 other
civilians, the coalition said.
spokesman for Yemeni Armed Forces says army troopers and allied fighters from
Popular Committees have launched a string of airstrikes against military
aircraft hangars in Saudi Arabia's southwestern region of Asir, using a
squadron of domestically-manufactured Qasef-2K (Striker-2K) combat drones.
General Yahya Saree said the unmanned aerial vehicles struck with great
precision the designated targets in King Khalid Air Base, which lies 884
kilometers south of the capital Riyadh, early on Thursday.
added that arms depots, loading facilities and other strategic structures were
destroyed during the operation as well.
senior Yemeni official then warned Saudi Arabia against more painful days to
come, stressing retaliatory attacks will continue as long as the Riyadh regime
continues its military aggression, siege and relentless raids against the
war-torn Arab country.
in the day, Yemeni soldiers and allied fighters from Popular Committees
launched a drone strike against Abha International Airport in Saudi Arabia’s
said Qasef-2K unmanned aerial vehicles pounded aircraft hangars and several
targets at the airport, leading to the disruption of air traffic.
July 23, Yemeni soldiers and their allies launched drone attacks against the
same Saudi air base, hitting radars and other sensitive military positions
al-Masirah television network reported that Yemeni army soldiers and allied
fighters from Popular Committees had used Qasef-K2 combat drones to accurately
hit radar and military sites at King Khalid Air Base.
Arabia and a number of its regional allies launched a devastating campaign
against Yemen in March 2015, with the goal of bringing the government of former
president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing the Houthi
US-based Armed Conflict Location and Event Data Project (ACLED), a nonprofit
conflict-research organization, estimates that the Saudi-led war has claimed
the lives of over 60,000 Yemenis since January 2016.
Palestine: Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is calling Israel's demolition
of several dozen Palestinian homes on the outskirts of east Jerusalem
"ethnic cleansing" and says he will take steps to terminate all
agreements with Israel.
issued a statement following a meeting of PLO leaders in Ramallah on Thursday.
The president said he would form a committee to advance ending all signed
agreements with Israel, but it wasn't clear such a move had a timeline.
president's remarks came three days after Israel leveled several buildings it
says were built too close to its West Bank separation barrier after a
years-long legal battle.
Hussein Mohamed and Anemona Hartocollis
Somalia — A suicide bomber walked into the mayor’s office in Mogadishu,
Somalia’s capital, during a high-level security meeting on Wednesday and
detonated explosives, seriously injuring the mayor and killing at least six
people, according to local authorities.
mayor, Abdirahman Omar Osman, was in critical condition with head and stomach
injuries, officials said.
Swan, an American diplomat who is the United Nations’ special representative
for Somalia, had visited the mayor’s office earlier Wednesday but left before
the attack, the authorities said.
Shabab, an Islamist extremist group with links to Al Qaeda, claimed
responsibility and said that Mr. Swan was the intended target, according to
Radio Andalus, the group’s radio station. The Shabab, which seeks to overthrow
Somalia’s Western-backed government, often target government offices and other
high-profile places in Somalia’s capital.
was not clear how the attacker was permitted to enter the room and detonate
explosives. People familiar with the mayor’s office, who asked not to be named
because of the sensitivity of the situation, said that it was closely guarded
and that the bomber must have been familiar with the guards in order to enter.
least six people, including two district commissioners, were killed in the
attack, and five people besides the mayor were injured, said Mohamed Abdi Hayir
Maareeye, Somalia’s minister of information, at a news conference.
attack came just 11 days after 26 people were killed in a suicide car bombing
and gun attack on a hotel in the southern Somali port city of Kismayo. That
attack killed a former politician and a prominent Somali-Canadian television
journalist, Hodan Nalayeh, who had returned to the country of her birth to tell
positive stories and was mourned as a hero.
Shabab claimed responsibility for the hotel attack, which also killed three
Kenyans, three Tanzanians and a Briton. The group, which has killed thousands
across East Africa, has accused Somalia’s president, Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed,
of being an apostate and an American “puppet.”
Somalia-based group was driven from Mogadishu years ago but still operates in
some regions and is a frequent target of American airstrikes.
Swan, the United Nations envoy, condemned the attack in a statement, saying it
not only reflected “a violent disregard for the sanctity of human life, but
also targets Somalis working to improve the lives of their fellow Somalis.”
Mohamed reported from Mogadishu, Somalia, and Anemona Hartocollis from Dakar,
Senegal. Simon Taveta contributed reporting from Nairobi, Kenya.
Nigerian charity workers kidnapped in Borno state last week have appeared in a
video where they begged for their lives.
workers said their captors were from the local ISIS affiliate, which has
executed humanitarian staff before.
President Muhammadu Buhari said on Thursday that talks were taking place to
negotiate the release of the hostages.
a three-minute video shared online on Thursday, a woman who identified herself
as Grace begged her employer and the Nigerian government to help free her and
the five men kneeling behind her.
Christian Nigerian said she worked for Action Against Hunger and she and her
colleagues were being held by militants who called themselves "the
video was released through the same channels as previous footage from the
ISIS-linked IS West Africa Province.
beg Action Against Hunger, we have families and some of us have children,”
Grace said. “Please do something to release us.”
Action Against Hunger spokesman declined to say what the organisation's policy
was on ransom payments.
also implored her government for help.
are Nigerians and we are also working for Nigerians," she said. "I’m
begging the Nigerian government to please do something to see we are released.”
six were kidnapped on Thursday last week when a convoy was attacked on the road
to Damasak, a northern town on the Niger border in Borno State.
fired on the convoy, killing a driver and taking the six hostages.
aid workers were seen with their captors on the day of their abduction passing
through the villages of Chamba and Gatafo, south-west of Damasak, villagers
are now believed to be held in a militant enclave on the shores of Lake Chad.
charity identified the captives as “one staff member, two drivers and three
health workers”, although in the video Grace said they were all staff.
Against Hunger strongly requests that our staff member and her companions be
released," the group said.
are humanitarians and health workers and they chose to dedicate their lives to
support the most vulnerable communities in Nigeria."
militants, a breakaway faction of the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram, swore
allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi in 2016.
2009, Boko Haram has carried out an insurgency across north-eastern Nigeria,
Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
than 27,000 people have been killed and two million displaced by the conflict,
which has prompted a US military response.
kidnapping raises concerns about the safety of humanitarian workers in an area
where 7.1 million people need aid because of the insurgency.
acts of violence affect the very individuals, families, and communities that we
support, and deprive vulnerable people of vital services,” said Edward Kallon,
the UN Humanitarian Co-ordinator.
ISIS affiliate has repeatedly attacked military bases in north-east Nigeria.
October, the militants killed midwife Hauwa Liman, 24, after her employer, the
International Committee of the Red Cross, refused to pay a ransom.
month earlier, Boko Haram murdered another Red Cross midwife, Saifura Khorsa.
ladies from the Red Cross were caught," Grace said, her voice breaking.
"They asked to be released but because Nigeria didn’t do anything about
it, they were killed.”
July 24 (Xinhua) -- Interior Ministry of Libya's UN-backed government on
Wednesday announced arresting a number of leaders of al-Qaeda in the Islamic
Maghreb on the outskirts of the capital Tripoli.
the framework the fight against terrorism and pursuit of those wanted locally
and internationally, a raid was carried out and arrested internationally wanted
terrorists classified as leaders of al-Qaeda, against whom arrest warrants were
issued by the Office of Investigations of the Attorney-General," the
ministry said in a statement.
operation has been carried out on the outskirts of Tripoli after those wanted
had recently infiltrated into Tripoli, taking advantage of the deterioration
security situation as a result of the war of the capital," the statement
hand grenades, ammunition, and documents were seized with the arrested
terrorists, the statement added.
Mohamed Olad Hassan
suspected al-Shabab suicide bomber killed at least six people Wednesday and
injured six others, including the mayor of the Somali capital Mogadishu,
witnesses and security officials said.
attack took place at local government headquarters in Mogadishu, where Mayor,
Abdirahman Omar Osman — who is also the governor of Banadir — was meeting with
his deputies and the city's district chairpersons about security challenges,
Deputy Mayor Mohamed Tulah told state-run Radio Mogadishu.
is claiming responsibility for the attack, and the terrorist group says it was
targeting the U.N. Special Envoy to Somalia James Swan, an American national who
had met with the mayor prior to the attack.
strongly condemned the attack, saying, "I deplore this heinous attack
which not only demonstrates a violent disregard for the sanctity of human life,
but also targets Somalis working to improve the lives of their fellow Somalis
in the Mogadishu-Banadir region. The United Nations stands with the people and
government of Somalia in their rejection of such terrorist acts, and our
thoughts are with the victims of this attack."
said, "We ask people in the city to show calm, and we reaffirm that such
terrorist attacks would not deter us from performing our national duty."
a press conference shortly after the bombing, Somali information minister
Mohamed Abdi Hayir Mareere said two district commissioners and three regional
directors were among the dead.
said the governor and five others, including government officials, sustained
heard a huge blast, and then a black plume of smoke rose from the meeting hall
of the headcounters' compound," a security guard at the compound told VOA.
– A delegation of Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) has
visited the Republic of Mali to assess the mechanism for the implementation of
support for G5 Sahel Joint Force, submitted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia,
Saudi Press Agency reported on Wednesday.
of the delegation and Representative of Saudi Arabia to the Coalition Maj. Gen.
Muhammad Bin Abdulkhaleq Al-Ghamdi visited the office of Commander of the Force
Lt. Gen. Hassan Ould Sidi, where they discussed the importance of the support.
least 116 migrants are missing and another 132 were rescued by Libyan coast
guards and local fishermen after a wooden boat capsized off Libya, Libyan navy
spokesman Ayoub Qassem said on Thursday.
initial findings, he said there had been more than 200 migrants on board the
boat, which capsized off the coast near Komas, a town east of the capital
Tripoli. He said one body had been recovered so far.
the UN refugee agency UNHCR said that up to 150 people were feared dead while
another 150 were rescued. If confirmed, that death toll would be the highest
for a shipwreck in the Mediterranean this year.
is a hub for migrants, many of whom try to reach Europe in unseaworthy boats.
ship left Libya from Komas, 120 km (75 miles) east of Tripoli.
92-year-old president, Beji Caid Essebsi, a major player in the North African
country’s transition to democracy after a 2011 revolution, has died, the
presidency said on Thursday.
was taken to a military hospital on Wednesday.
leading figure in the country’s fortunes since 2011, Essebsi was hospitalized
late last month and spent a week in hospital after suffering what authorities
described as a severe health crisis.
Thursday morning, the President of the Republic died at the military hospital
in Tunis… The burial ceremony will be announced later,” the presidency said in
to the constitution, the speaker of parliament will temporarily serve as president.
has been a prominent figure in Tunisia since the overthrow of veteran autocrat
Zine El-Abidine Ben Ali in 2011, which was followed by uprisings against
authoritarian leaders across the Middle East, including in nearby Libya and
elections are expected to be held on Oct. 6 with a presidential vote following
on Nov. 17. They will be the third set of polls in which Tunisians have been
able to vote freely following the 2011 revolution.
Chahed, the Head of Government of Tunisia, said on Thursday that a 7-day period
of mourning will be held in the country.
Salman, crown prince send condolences to Tunisia’s interim president
Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have sent their
condolences to Tunisia’s interim president Mohamed Ennaceur on the death of the
late president Beji Caid Essebsi.
ISIS group’s West Africa branch said on Thursday it was responsible for the
kidnapping of six aid workers in northeast Nigeria, according to a tweet
published by the SITE monitoring group.
the Nigerian presidency said the government was negotiating for the release of
the kidnapped aid workers.
coast guard said on Wednesday it intercepted around three dozen Europe-bound
migrants off its Mediterranean coast and took them to a detention center that
was bombed earlier this month.
Ayoub Gassim said a rubber boat carrying 38 migrants, mostly Egyptians, was
stopped on Tuesday off the coast some 65 kilometers east of the capital,
Tripoli. He said the migrants were transferred to the Tajoura detention center.
United Nations expressed deep concern Wednesday that the new migrants were
taken to Tajoura, where the UN refugee agency says over 200 refugees and
migrants are thought to be detained. It is near the front lines of the latest
fighting near Tripoli between rival Libyan factions.
deputy spokesman Farhan Haq said the Tajoura detention center had been fully
evacuated as of July 10, following a July 2 airstrike that killed at least 53
refugees and migrants and injured at least 130 others.
humanitarian community calls on the Libyan authorities to fulfil their pledge
to close the Tajoura detention center immediately,” he said.
least 2,500 refugees and migrants are estimated to remain in detention centers
exposed to or at risk of armed conflict in and around Tripoli, out of at least
5,600 refugees and migrants held in detention centers in Libya,” Haq added.
self-styled Libyan National Army led by Khalifa Hifter launched an offensive
from eastern Libya on April 4 seeking to take Tripoli. Hifter’s forces are
battling militias loosely allied with a weak, UN-recognized government in the
UN said earlier this month that the battle for Tripoli has killed more than
war in Libya in 2011 toppled and later killed longtime dictator Muammar
Qaddafi, and the chaos that followed resulted in a divided country, with the
UN-aligned administration in Tripoli overseeing the country’s west and a rival
government in the east aligned with Hifter.
spokesman for the UN refugee agency says up to 150 refugees trying to reach
Europe from Libya are believed to have died after their boat capsized in the
Yaxley, a spokesman for the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for
Refugees (UNHCR), said on Thursday that a further 150 survivors were picked up
by local fishermen and then returned to the coast by Libyan coastguard.
is not clear if the refugees were on one or two boats that left the Libyan town
of al-Khoms, some 120km (74.5 miles) east of Tripoli.
confirmed, the number of dead would be the highest for a shipwreck in the Mediterranean
of refugees attempt to cross the Mediterranean to Europe every year, and Libya
is a key departure point. The majority of refugees from Africa take the sea
route from Libya to Italy to reach Europe, while some others depart from
Morocco to Spain. Most refugees are packed into flimsy inflatable boats that
often break down or sink. UNHCR figures show about 164 people died on the route
between Libya and Europe in the first four months of 2019.
International Organization for Migration (IOM) said in May that 443 people had
reportedly died on dangerous Mediterranean crossings so far this year, compared
to 620 deaths for the same period in 2018.
has faced its worst refugee crisis since World War II. The continent has been
hit since 2014 by an unprecedented influx of refugees fleeing conflict-ridden
zones in North Africa and the Middle East, in particular Syria.
since mid-2017, the number of migrant journeys has declined dramatically. The
decline is largely because Italy has engaged Libyan forces to stop refugees
from setting off or return them to Libya if found at sea - a policy condemned
by human rights groups and international organizations.
of senior Nigerian cleric Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky say they have obtained
information that four of his followers have died in government custody because
of a lack of medical treatment of their gunshot wounds, raising further
concerns about a government crackdown on the sheikh’s Islamic Movement of
members regularly take to the streets of the Nigerian capital of Abuja to call
for the release of Sheikh Zakzaky, their leader, who has been in detention
Monday, Nigerian forces reportedly used live ammunition and teargas to curb one
Junaidu, an IMN member, said in
a tweet on Wednesday that the group had received reports about the death of
four detained followers of Sheikh Zakzaky.
cleric has been in detention since December 2015 after his residence in the
city of Zaria was raided by Nigerian forces, during which he was beaten and
lost his left eye. Three of his sons also lost their lives in the brutal
crackdown, while his wife sustained serious wounds and more than 300 of his
followers were killed.
2016, Nigeria’s federal high court ordered Zakzaky’s unconditional release from
jail following a trial, but the government has so far refused to set him free.
this month, Zakzaky’s son, Mohammad, said after visiting him that he was
shocked by his father’s worsening medical condition. Mohammad said large and
dangerous quantities of lead and cadmium had been found in Zakzaky’s blood and
the cleric needed to be immediately hospitalized.
152 soldiers graduated from Turkey’s largest overseas military training camp in
Somalia, Turkish Defense Ministry announced Thursday.
graduates included 81 Somalian lieutenants and 71 sergeants, according to a
statement by the ministry.
believe that the brotherly people of Somalia who are dealing with drought,
hunger, civil war and terror will march to the future more confidently thanks
to the qualified graduates of this campus, who will contribute to the security
of their country," said Hulusi Akar, Turkish defense minister, in his
message to graduates, as quoted by the statement.
brothers who have graduated today will take the deep historical bonds of
brotherhood among us even further,” he added.
President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo attended the ceremony along with
Turkish and Somali military and civilian personnel.
opened its largest overseas military training camp in Mogadishu in September
facility is spread over 4 square kilometers (1.54 square miles) and has the
capacity to train more than 1,500 troops at a time.
July 24 (Xinhua) -- Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi on Wednesday
discussed counter-terrorism efforts and the future of foreign Islamic State
(IS) militants held captive in Iraq with a delegation from countries of the
European Union (EU).
the meeting, Abdul Mahdi and the EU representatives "exchanged views over
how to deal with large numbers of (foreign) Daesh militants (IS militants)
captured in Iraq in order to punish them according to the law," a
statement by Abdul Mahdi's media office said.
recent months, Iraqi courts issued verdicts of death penalties to many foreign
citizens involved in IS group.
of fighters and supporters of various nationalities joined the extremist IS
group when it took control of large areas in Iraq and neighboring Syria, but
after its defeat in both countries, hundreds of IS loyalists were killed or
sources said that the residents attacked the SDF positions after one of the
civilians was killed under torture at an SDF prison in the town of al-Sabhah.
added that two other civilians were also earlier killed by the SDF in the town
of Sweidan Jazirah in Eastern Deir Ezzur, noting that the Kurdish forces
detained and tortured under baseless accusations a large number of civilians in
the regions under their occupation.
had noted in June that several civilians were killed and wounded in SDF and US
attack, and said that the entire regions under the SDF control in Hasaka and
Deir Ezzur provinces were the scenes of popular protests against the presence
of occupying forces there.
the Arabic-language al-Khabour News Website reported that the SDF in Hasaka
province prevented civilians from leaving the regions under their control for
safe regions controlled by the Syrian Army.
Arabic-language al-Akhbar newspaper quoted different sources as saying that the
SDF commanders are displeased with the meetings held between Saudi Minister for
Persian Gulf Affairs Thamer al-Sabhan and Syrian tribal leaders and the head of
Deir Ezzur civil council on the tribes' demand for the withdrawal of the Kurds
from Deir Ezzur and delivering its control to the locals.
added that the Kurdish commanders believe that these meetings have decreased
the power of Deir Ezzur's civil council and they have asked their forces to
cancel the missions ordered by the council.
confirmed that al-Sabhan's visit to Deir Ezzur and his meetings with a number
of political, military and tribal figures were in line with restoration of
special forces affiliated to al-Qad stream under the command of Ahmed al-Jaraba
and their merger with Deir Ezzur military council affiliated to the SDF.
added that one of the goals of the recent moves by Riyadh in Eastern Syria is
creation of a military power against Syria and the resistance forces in case of
non-collaboration by the US-backed forces.
reports said earlier this month that Saudi Arabia had offers hefty cash to Syria's
tribal leaders in Eastern Syria to support the US-backed militants in order to
threaten Turkey, media reports said.
Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted special sources in Eastern Syria as
saying that al-Sahban in his meeting with Syrian tribal leaders asked for
helping Kurdish fighters.
US officials were accompanying al-Sahban during his meeting with tribal leaders
of Eastern Syria, it added.
have offered to give a hefty sum of $50 million to them indirectly through
local councils and also direct financial aide, the paper further said.
newspaper noted that the efforts by Saudi Arabia are in line with support for
the SDF and the presence of al-Sahban in the region is in line with Riyadh's
confrontation with Turkey on the issue of Kurds.
daily noted that Turkey-Saudi Arabia relations are currently very strained.
also quoted special sources as saying that Saudi Arabia threatens Turkey and
tries to include itself in the Syrian power balance through the Kurds, specially
by the Syrian regime and its Russian ally killed 20 civilians including five children
Wednesday in the latest violence to hit northwest Syria.
Syrian regime and Russia have stepped up their deadly raids on the Idlib region
since late April, despite an international deal intended to prevent a
full-scale offensive on the area of some three million people.
almost three months, 730 civilians have been killed there in air strikes and
ground-to-ground fire by the Damascus government and its allies.
bombardment has also hit two dozen hospitals in the opposition area, which is
made up of most of Idlib province as well as slivers of adjacent governorates.
Wednesday, Russian air strikes killed 10 people from the same family, including
three children, on a farm near the town of Khan Sheikhun in Idlib province, the
Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.
others lost their lives in regime air strikes and artillery fire in other parts
of the jihadist-run bastion, the Britain-based monitoring group said.
these, regime war planes killed five civilians including two children in the
town of Ariha in Idlib province, it said.
rescue worker in the town lifted the limp body of a toddler out of the rubble
and rushed the child to an ambulance, according to footage shared by his White
team members hurriedly worked through the debris and twisted sheets of
corrugated iron, finding a young man on his back covered in grey dust -- but
Monday, air strikes killed at least 50 civilians in various parts of the
Observatory said the majority were killed in Russian air raids on a busy
market, but Moscow has denied any involvement.
monitor, which relies on sources inside Syria, says it determines who carries
out air strikes according to flight patterns, as well as aircraft and
Cutts, UN deputy regional humanitarian coordinator for the Syria crisis, this
week described a worsening "nightmare" unfolding in Idlib.
said Monday's aerial onslaught was "one of the deadliest attacks on
civilian areas that we have seen since the upsurge in fighting".
Idlib region has since January been administered by Hayat Tahrir al-Sham -- a
group led by Syria's former Al-Qaeda affiliate -- but other jihadists and
rebels are also present in the area bordering Turkey.
September accord struck between Moscow and Ankara was supposed to set up a
buffer zone around the region, but it was never fully implemented after
jihadists refused to withdraw from that planned security cordon.
recent violence has forced more than 330,000 people from their homes, the
United Nations says, many seeking shelter further north in camps or olive
groves along the Turkish border.
(KDKA) — The young man from Syria facing federal terrorism charges for
allegedly plotting to bomb a Pittsburgh church was back in court Wednesday for
to our news partners at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 21-year-old Mustafa
Alowemer was arraigned in U.S. District Court on terrorism charges.
pleaded not guilty and requested a trial by jury.
on both sides asked for three weeks for the trial, the Post-Gazette reports.
is accused of planning to bomb the Legacy International Worship Center on the
say an undercover agent reported that Alowemer told him he was going to set off
a backpack full of explosives on the side of the church.
by Mohammed Ebraheem
(IraqiNews.com) – Iraqi rapid response forces announced on Wednesday the
capture of four Islamic State terrorists in Baghdad.
arrests were made in al Tarmiyah district in Baghdad as part of a military
operation, which was launched earlier this week to cleanse Iraq’s northern
provinces from Islamic State terrorists.
four IS terrorists were arrested in line with article no. 4 of the
second phase of the “Will of Victory” operation was launched on Sunday with an
aim to attain security and stability in the desert area between Nineveh,
Salahuddin and Anbar provinces on the Iraqi-Syrian border, in addition to
preventing IS remains from sneaking into that region or even using it as a
stronghold for their terrorist acts.
declared the collapse of Islamic State’s territorial influence in November 2017
with the recapture of Rawa, a city on Anbar’s western borders with Syria, which
was the group’s last bastion in Iraq.
July 24 (Xinhua) -- A local tribe leader and an Islamic State (IS) militant
were killed Wednesday in separate attacks by the extremist militants on two
villages in Iraq's northern province of Nineveh.
incident took place at dawn, when three IS militants infiltrated into a village
near the town of Hammam al-Alil, some 20 km south of the provincial capital
Mosul, and shot dead a local tribe leader after they broke into his house,
Khalaf al-Jubouri, mayor of the town, told Xinhua.
attackers also wounded the nephew of the tribe leader, al-Jubouri said, adding
that many of armed villagers clashed with the attackers and forced them to
IS militants attacked the Yazidi village in east of the town of Sinjar, some
100 km west of Mosul, prompting the security forces to repel the attack and
killed one of them, Ziad Burjus from the local police told Xinhua.
to Burjus, reinforcement troops from the paramilitary tribal fighters and the
provincial police arrived at the scene and launched a search campaign looking
for the attackers in the area.
security situation in Iraq was dramatically improved after Iraqi security
forces fully defeated the extremist IS militants across the country late in
Arabic-language website of Sputnik news agency quoted local sources in Idlib
province as saying that recently Tahrir al-Sham has received 8 drilling
vehicles through a businessman in Turkey and transferred them to several
regions in Khan Sheikhoun in Southern Idlib and Kafr Zita, al-Latamineh and
Sahl al-Qab in Northern Hama.
added that Tahrir al-Sham intends to build underground tunnels like what
existed in the Eastern Ghouta of Damascus with the aim of reinvigoration of its
positions in Northern Hama and Southern Idlib fronts under the supervision of
sources also said that a delegation of foreign engineers from different Arab
countries as well as construction experts and the terrorists who had earlier
been transferred to this region from Eastern Ghouta collaborate in the
reports said late last month that the Turkish army deployed in areas under its
control in Hama and Idlib provinces backs Tahrir al-Sham al-Hay'at in its
attacks against the Syrian Army positions and safe zones in Northern Syria, the
Arabic-language media outlets reported.
news agency quoted a Syrian Army source as saying that the Syrian Army's
military positions came under the Turkish Army's artillery attacks while the
government forces were thwarting the terrorist groups' attacks on their
positions in Northwestern Hama.
Kurdish-language Hawar News quoted local sources in Northern Aleppo as saying
that the ISIL terrorists are stationed in Ankara-controlled regions in Northern
Aleppo under names of terrorist groups backed by Turkey.
sources released a photo of ISIL flag mounted on the vehicles of a member of
Shohada al-Sharqieh which is affiliated to Turkey in the city of Jerablus is
Syria, and said that the Ankara-controlled regions in Northern Aleppo have
turned into safe zones for the ISIL terrorists.
a relevant development earlier this month, tens of ISIL terrorists had been
transferred from Turkey to Afrin region in Northwestern Aleppo as reports said
the Turkish Army and its affiliated militants were preparing to launch a major
offensive on the US-backed Kurdish fighters in Eastern Euphrates.
Hawar News Website quoted local sources in Afrin as saying the ISIL terrorists
have become active along Turkey’s borders with al-Shieh region in Afrin.
sources said that the Turkish Army and its allied militants have sent 30 ISIL
terrorists who had been trained by the Turkish Army in Hatay province of Turkey
to al-Shieh region.
noted that thousands of Turkey-backed terrorists have recently been dispatched
to Afrin from Idlib province.
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