Azhar Designated As Global Terrorist After China Lifts Technical Hold
Radical Muslim Preachers from Tamil Nadu Went To Sri Lanka, Police Track One,
If He Is A Terrorist, Let Him Perish In Jail, Says Father Of IS Suspect
Are Not Above the Law in Islam, Says PAS President
Naik and the Radicalisation of Malaysia Baru
Arabia among Top Violators of Religious Freedom: US Govt. Body
Us You No Longer Possess Religious, Radical Thoughts': China Frees 'Lost'
Uighur Wives at a Price
Ankara-Backed Militants Plunder Artifacts in Aleppo's Afrin
Military Council: We Are Ready to Negotiate but No Chaos after Today
May Lift Its Hold Leading To Ban on JeM Chief
on global terrorist tag on JeM chief Masood Azhar likely today
body clubs India with Iraq, Afghanistan on religious strife
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man was ready for suicide attack but didn’t have explosives
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Step Forward In Muslim-Christian Ties in Malaysia
assemblyman urges Penang govt to have law to curb spread of non-Muslim
religions to Muslims
Weighs Labelling Muslim Brotherhood A Terrorist Group
Fresh round of talks with US peace envoy opening
Trump says Europe is not helping with ISIS prisoners in Syria
Video Showing Muslims Protesting Crackdown By Sri Lanka After Blasts Is False
after blasts, Sri Lanka cable operators block Islamic preacher Zakir Naik's
Peace TV: Sources
rips through border police vehicle in Mazar-e-Sharif city
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remains potent threat worldwide despite reduced capabilities, Iraqi PM warns
says Daesh leader Baghdadi filmed video in 'remote area'
Killed As Tensions Mount Between Sudan Military Rulers, Protesters
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monarch orders changes to $10 billion gas deal with Israel
Haram kill 14 loggers in northeast Nigeria: Sources
Taliban likely to begin new round of talks today
will continue fighting for labourers’ rights: Bilawal
making sincere efforts for success of Afghan peace process, says Qureshi
proof India is using Afghan soil against Pakistan, says Wells
Palestinian Authority faces risk of financial collapse
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Italy urge cease-fire in Libya amid clashes
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Express Web Desk |
1, 2019 6:40:56 pm
development comes a month after China had put a hold on a fresh proposal by the
US, UK and France to impose a ban on the chief of the JeM which claimed
responsibility for the deadly Pulwama terror attack.
on Wednesday lifted its technical hold on the listing of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM)
chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist. The development comes a month after
China had put a hold on a fresh proposal by the US, UK and France to impose a
ban on the chief of the JeM which claimed responsibility for the deadly Pulwama
RADICAL Muslim preachers from Tamil Nadu travelled to Sri Lanka to deliver
sermons on towheed, a puritanical version of Islam, a few years ago, but had to
leave after local Muslims complained that they were causing sectarian unrest,
according to their former associates.
role of Tamil Nadu towheed groups in spreading their version of a “pure Islam”
among Sri Lankan Muslims has come under the scanner after the Easter Sunday
bombings that killed more than 250 people.
Jainulabdeen, who was until last year associated with the Tamil Nadu Towheeth
Jamaath (TNTJ), was deported from Colombo after the All Ceylon Jamiyyat Ullama
(ACJU) complained to police in 2006 that his sermons were creating divisions
among Muslims in Sri Lanka.
“PJ”, as he is better known, tried to go back in 2008, and more recently, in
2015, but was denied a visa on both occasions, a former aide told The Indian
Express from Chennai.
well-known towheed preacher, Kovai Ayub of Coimbatore, who belonged to the
Jamiat ul Quran al Hadith (JUQH), a Tamil Nadu towheed group that predates
TNTJ, gained notoriety in Sri Lanka in July 2009 after police launched a
manhunt for him on a complaint from the Sri Lankan Ministry of Religious
Tamil Nadu Towheeth Jamaath has denied any links to towheed groups in Sri
Lanka, and has stressed its role in speaking against social evils such as
at least one of its former members, PJ, was identified early by the Sri Lankan
Muslim community as a “troublemaker”. Ayub, the other preacher, was with the
JUQH, a religious organisation founded on the 1980s to spread the towheed
preachers are fiery speakers and are well known in Muslim political and
religious circles in Tamil Nadu, sources said.
too, began at the JUQH but left to join the Tamil Muslim Munnetra Kazhagam, a
political party formed in the mid-1990s. He left that party in the early years
of the last decade to found the TNTJ of which he was the leader until 2018,
when he was removed following allegations of sexual harassment and
misappropriation of funds.
Sri Lankan Muslim community, a majority of whom follow a moderate version of
Islam, took serious objection when the two started travelling to the island to
preach against common practices like visiting dargahs.
was first invited to Sri Lanka in 2006. His then aide, S M Backer, who
travelled with PJ, said they were invited by “individuals” who were attracted
to the towheed ideology. They went to at least seven locations across Sri
Lanka, including Kattankudy, in the eastern province and Puttalam in the
Colombo, they held three sessions. It was when they returned to the capital for
the last one, that police, acting on a complaint by the ACJU, detained PJ
overnight, and put him on the next flight back to Chennai, Backer said.
who is now the founder leader of another towheed group called the Indian
Towheeth Jamaath, said PJ was invited again in 2008, by the then recently
formed Sri Lanka Towheeth Jamaat.
time he was denied a visa. Another invitation to him in 2015, to release a
Sinhala version of the Quran at the Sugathadasa stadium, triggered protests by
Muslims in Colombo — again, he was not given a visa. Backer’s account is
corroborated by Sri Lankan media reports at the time.
August 2009, less than three months after the military defeat of the LTTE,
Kovai Ayub landed in Colombo and was all set to deliver the Friday sermon at a
tawheed mosque in Kalmunai, a Muslim majority town in the Ampara district of
eastern Sri Lanka. However, acting on a complaint from the Ministry of
Religious Affairs and the Immigration Department, the police launched a manhunt
to a report in the Sunday Times, Ayub returned to India without being detected,
but read out a message to the congregation at the mosque, which was relayed
over loudspeakers. Ayub said he was unable to visit the mosque since the police
were on the lookout for him.
was ejected a few years ago from the the JUQH. After their bitter parting from
their respective organisations, both Ayub and PJ are keeping a low profile in
Tamil Nadu, sources said. Though neither has been able to visit Sri Lanka in
recent years, they have remained popular with towheed followers through their
earlier sermons on YouTube. Both PJ and Ayub could not be reached for comment.
If he is a terrorist, let him perish in jail, says father of IS suspect
changes were first visible about three years ago. He started growing his beard,
ignoring objections from his family, and wearing “Arabian attire”. He became
silent and aloof. He stopped watching films and TV, turning instead to his
smartphone for videos and articles on Islam. Soon, his brother warned him
against his “objectionable” Facebook posts.
Sunday, the family of Riyas Aboobacker, 29, realised what it all added up to.
That was when officers of the National Investigation Agency (NIA) reached its
small, partially built home on eight cents of land at Akshaya Nagar colony in
Palakkad’s Kambrathchala village. Riyas was arrested a day later on suspicion
of being an Islamic State (IS) recruit and “for conspiring to commit a
terrorist act”. According to the NIA, Riyas had been following speeches and
videos of Zaharan Hashim, the mastermind behind the Easter Sunday blasts in Sri
Lanka — and “wanted to carry out a suicide attack in Kerala”.
The Indian Express reached Riyas’s home Tuesday, it found a family struggling
to cope with shock and disbelief. “If my son is a terrorist or anti-national,
let him perish in jail, we won’t help him,’’ said his father Aboobacker, a
worker at a mango plantation in the area.
to the NIA, Riyas was in touch with at least two men from the group of 22 that
left Kerala in 2016 to join the Islamic State in Afghanistan. Recently, the
agency said, he changed his name on Facebook to “Abu Dujana”.
knew he was on the wrong track. But I never expected that he would be arrested
for links to the Islamic State,” said Aboobacker.
is Aboobacker’s eldest son, and has a younger brother and a sister who is
2016, when two men from Palakkad named Yahiya and Issa (Christian brothers who
converted to Islam) left the country to join the IS as part of a group from
Kerala, Riyas told us that they were his friends. When photos of those men
appeared in the media, he told us that he had met them at a mosque in
Palakkad,’’ said Riyas’s brother-in-law, Kaja, who is employed as a driver.
to Kaja, Riyas cleared Class 12 in the Humanities stream. “He completed his BA
through private study but we don’t know any details,” he said. The family said
Riyas moved from one city to another in Kerala “doing odd jobs”, including as a
jewellery salesman and an employee at a steel firm in Palakkad’s Kanjikode.
he started going twice a week on his two-wheeler to Govindapuram village nearby
to sell perfumes. He was not interested in helping me run the family. I had
asked him several times to join me at the mango plantation where he would have
got Rs 500 for a day’s work. But he wanted to learn religion,’’ said
to the family, Riyas turned to the Internet to learn more about religion
because the family never sent him to a madrasa. “In those days, we were staying
at Chappakkad, a remote village, where the nearest madrasa was about 8 km away.
So he felt that he didn’t get a proper religious education,’’ said Riyas’s
brother, who declined to be identified.
said they were still in shock over the arrest. “His long beard was a cause of
concern because it was unusual. You will not find a Muslim youth in this region
sporting such a long beard and hair,’’ said Sirajuneesa, a local resident.
resident, Saleem Shahul Hameed, said Riyas “got attracted to the Salafi
movement”, which preaches an orthodox form of Islam. “But we never expected
that he would have links to the Islamic State,” he said.
are not above the law in Islam, says PAS president
president Abdul Hadi Awang noted that Islam does not place a monarch or head of
state above the law.
Marang MP said when Prophet Muhammad became Rasulullah (messenger of God), he
did not act like God, make the people slaves or use the nation's wealth as his
are numerous other instances in Islamic history, where heads of state, kings,
caliphs or emirs did not possess absolute power and were not above the law.
rejects the concept of someone or a group of people being above the law,” he
said his column posted in Harakah Online today.
the PAS president did not make specific references, his remarks came amid
tension between Putrajaya and the rulers on various issues.
said if a ruler is not pious and courteous, then the concept of the sovereignty
of law would be nothing more than empty talk.
are some rulers who use a slogan immersed in religion that the ruler is a
shadow of Allah who protects the people with this shadow of Allah.
there are those who act like God... All of this is just empty talk if one is
not pious and courteous.
the aim is to establish their respective positions without caring for the
people. In fact, power is used to relegate people according to caste and the
wealth of a nation is considered his (the ruler's) own,” he added.
said Islam does not haramkan (forbid) or halalkan (permit) words like
'monarchy', 'republic', 'democracy' and other terms not mentioned in the Quran.
he stressed, what is prioritised is the concept of justice and to fight
who rule, regardless of name and title, will be called to face Allah,” he
Naik and the radicalisation of Malaysia Baru
the wake of the recent terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka, a warning by the
Inspector-General of Police (IGP) last month that Malaysia was becoming a hub
for foreign militants has taken on added significance.
to news reports, the IGP warned that the police had “uncovered a plan by
foreign militants to use the country as a safe haven, transit and logistics
centre, following the collapse of terrorist outfit Islamic State in Iraq and
Syria (ISIS).” Continuing, he said that the militants planned to marry local
women to get spousal visas to enable them to live in Malaysia, or to remain in
the country by attending educational institutions or by being involved in
IGP’s warning should have immediately set off alarm bells but such is the state
of denial in the country when it comes to religious radicalism that it passed
almost without notice. Even the high security alert throughout the country
announced by the IGP soon after the attacks in Sri Lanka – an indication of
just how vulnerable we are – did not appear to have evoked much concern.
favoured terrorist destination
course, Malaysia has long been a favourite destination for international
terrorism. Some of the al-Qaeda operatives who planned the 9/11 attacks, for
example, met in Kuala Lumpur. Since then, the growing number of both local and
foreign jihadis being arrested in the country suggests that the problem has
grown exponentially. And so, too, is the scope of their activities – from
bomb-making and weapons smuggling to recruitment and fundraising.
rising number of foreign jihadis in Malaysia is usually dismissed as simply a
consequence of Malaysia’s good airlinks but the reality is far more worrying:
they choose Malaysia because the local culture is increasingly tolerant of
them. In fact, there is a sense among many local Muslims that it is their duty
to assist anyone fighting for Islamic causes even though they might not
necessarily agree with their methods. For this reason, foreign jihadis appear
to have no problem finding refuge and support locally.
happening in a vacuum
course, all this is not happening in a vacuum but is taking place within the
context of the growing radicalisation of our society. Thanks to decades of
sustained Wahhabi indoctrination and infiltration, Malaysia is no longer the
moderate country it once was although we continue to pretend it is. Despite a
fatwa against it, Wahhabi theology is now the dominant force in the country and
is being vigorously promoted in every school, every university and every government
department, not to mention every religious establishment with predictable
results. Ironically, while we boast about the success of our de-radicalisation
programmes, the whole country is slowly being radicalised!
recent survey, for example, revealed that one-fifth of students in major public
universities believe that terrorism is an effective strategy to achieve an
objective while 11% of Malaysians have a favourable view of IS. The dozens of
young Malaysians who rushed off to join IS is but a manifestation of the slow
process of radicalisation that has been underway in our society.
Putrajaya has thus far been unable or unwilling to provide the kind of decisive
leadership that the situation demands.
is widespread agreement, for example, that our education system has become a
major precursor of religious extremism and intolerance but is Putrajaya willing
to fight to wrest back our education system from the religionists who now
dominate it? Do they even know how?
they have done thus far is pander to the religious establishment by showering
them with more money and ceding more and more legal and moral authority to
taking simple steps like strengthening immigration controls and reimposing visa
requirements on Middle Eastern and other visitors seem too onerous, too fraught
with danger to the risk-averse politicians in Putrajaya.
the wrong signals
sums up the government’s lack of resolve on the issue of extremism more than
the way it has managed the case of Zakir Naik – arguably one of the most
controversial Wahhabi ideologues in the world today. He is so toxic that he has
been banned by several countries and is now a fugitive from the Indian criminal
justice system. Reports suggest that his teachings have inspired several
jihadis including the ones who carried out attacks in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Everywhere he has gone, he has promoted nothing but division and social and
yet this is the man who is now held up as a role model in Malaysia Baru. Prime
Minister Mahathir honoured him with a private meeting soon after he took
office, the minister for religious affairs called him an “inspiration,” the
Menteri Besar of Kedah welcomed him while the Perlis mufti is one of his
PH government may not have given Naik permanent residence but they have given
him something far more important – a level of credibility and respect that no
other country has bestowed upon him. That, in itself, says a lot about the kind
of nation we have become.
course, Mujahid has since backtracked on his comments and now says that he has
not changed his position that Naik’s teachings are not suitable for Malaysia.
If he really believes that, the very least he can do, as minister for religious
affairs, is to publicly disassociate himself from Naik and work to have him
removed from the country as speedily as possible. Anything short of that is
simply intellectual dishonesty.
and other PH leaders would also do well to note that Naik is not here simply to
pass time or hide from justice in his own country; he is here to spread his
hateful extremism and recruit followers to his cause. The very fact that one of
his acolytes has just been arrested for insulting another faith should tell us
something about the threat this man poses to our society. The longer he stays
in Malaysia, the more people he recruits to his cause, the more dangerous he’ll
in particular, have every reason to detest Naik and other radical preachers
because they (non-Muslims) are the principal targets. As the police have
repeatedly warned, both foreign jihadis and local extremists tend to target
non-Muslim places of worship. Naik himself has built his reputation on
belittling other religions and promoting the view that non-Muslim places of
worship have no place in Muslim countries.
don’t expect the government to send him packing anytime soon. Naik has so
skilfully woven his narrative into the fabric of Malay ethno-religious nationalism
that his removal now would be seen as an assault on Islam, Malay rights and
Malay civilisation. No Malay politician would dare do it. As it is, even the
arrest of one of his proteges is deemed to be an affront to the Malays.
Baru a passing phase
all this says is that the Malaysia Baru that many of us are celebrating is
simply a passing phase, a prelude to a more radical religious state. With no
leader of consequence willing to defend the secular constitutional foundations
of our nation, democracy’s days may well be numbered. The future, it seems,
belongs to the likes of Zakir Naik.
Arabia among top violators of religious freedom: US govt. body
US government commission has called Saudi Arabia — a close ally of Washington —
one of the world’s “worst violators” of religious freedom, citing the Riyadh
regime’s discrimination against Shia minorities, non-Muslims, women and
prisoners of conscience. In its 2019 report released on Monday, the US
Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) listed Saudi Arabia in
its tier one category of the states which merit designation as a “country of
particular concern” or CPC.
US State Department first designated Saudi Arabia a CPC in 2004, but it has
granted an indefinite waiver to Riyadh since 2006.
USCIRF recommended that the US State Department re-designate the kingdom a CPC
under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA).
Muslims in Saudi Arabia continue to face discrimination in education,
employment, and the judiciary, and lack access to senior positions in the
government and military,” the survey said.
also noted that during a USCIRF visit to Saudi Arabia’s mainly Shia-pupulated
Eastern Province, certain Shia Muslims had reported harassment and invasions of
privacy by the regime’s forces.
report further complained about restrictions of non-Muslims living in the
a matter of law, the Saudi government bans the public practice of non-Muslim
faiths by citizens and expatriates alike. While the Saudi government has stated
repeatedly that non-Muslims who are not converts from Islam may practice their
religion in private, this policy has not been codified,” it said.
the report criticized Saudi Arabia’s guardianship system for classifying women
as “legal minors,” who need permission to study at universities and travel
Arabia is the only Muslim country with such an extensive system of
guardianship, which places severe limitations on women’s religious freedom and
human rights,” it added.
survey also raised concerns about the situation of Saudi Arabia’s prisoners of
conscience and the government’s failure to address the intolerant language in
official textbooks inciting hatred and violence toward non-Muslims.
report said, however, that the administration recommends renewing a waiver for
Saudi Arabia as required in the “important national interest of the United
was published before Saudi Arabia’s brutal beheadings of its 37 nationals,
which sparked widespread condemnations.
commission later reacted to the mass execution in a statement on Friday, saying
the US State Department “must stop giving a free pass” to Saudi Arabia and
urging the government to lift the waiver.
Chairman Tenzin Dorjee said in the statement, “The Saudi government’s execution
of minority [Shia] Muslims on the basis of their religious identity and
peaceful activism is not only shocking, but also directly contradicts the
government’s official narrative of working toward greater modernization and
improving religious freedom conditions.”
other issues that have tarnished the image of the Saudi royal family is the
state-sponsored killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in October
has also been under scrutiny over the crimes it has been committing during its
US-backed military campaign against Yemen.
Riyadh’s brazen rights violations, President Donald Trump has repeatedly
stressed the importance of Washington’s alliance with Riyadh, citing
his supporters in Wisconsin on Sunday, Trump indicated that he would remain a
steadfast supporter of the Saudi regime, largely due to Riyadh’s purchases from
have nothing but cash, right?” he told the crowd. “They buy a lot from us. $450
billion they bought.”
had people wanting to cut off Saudi Arabia ... I don’t want to lose them,"
Their Uighur wives vanished in 2017, swept up in a Chinese dragnet tackling
Islamic extremism, now they've been released -- but the Pakistani husbands left
behind say freedom has come at a price: The women must prove their
"adaptability to Chinese society", and publicly sacrifice their
group of around 40 women -- all from the western Chinese province of Xinjiang
and married to traders from neighbouring Pakistan -- were among some one
million people believed to be held in a network of internment camps that
authorities downplay as "vocational education centres".
the men say their partners were forced into acts that are haram, or forbidden,
to followers of Islam -- both in the camps and now they've been freed.
said they had to eat pork and drink alcohol, something she still has to
do," one merchant, who recently visited his wife at her parents' house in
Xinjiang told AFP, on condition of anonymity.
was told that she had to satisfy the authorities that she no longer possesses
radical thoughts if she does not want to go back," he explained, adding
that she had given up praying and the Quran had been replaced by books on China
at his in-laws home. Some of the traders, who traditionally leave their wives
in Xinjiang for weeks or months at a time when they return home to conduct
business, believe the women were taken to the camps because of their connection
to Pakistan, which is an Islamic republic.
detainees have said they were held simply for following Islamic traditions,
such as having a long beard or wearing a veil.
with the detention centres, part of a security clampdown targeting Muslims
including ethnic Uighurs, facing growing international condemnation and China
pushing its economic relationship with Pakistan, authorities began slowly
releasing the women two months ago.
Ullah Faraq, a spokesman for the government of Gilgit-Baltistan, the Pakistani
region which borders Xinjiang, confirmed the "majority" have now been
interviewed nine of the women's husbands, who confirm their wives are free but
cannot leave Xinjiang for three months, during which time they will be closely
will observe her adaptability to Chinese society and if they deem her to be
unfit she will be sent back," a gemstone trader said of the rules of
initial joy at the release of much-loved wives and mothers has faded because
the women who've returned are like strangers.
wife said she was forced to dance, wear revealing clothes, eat pork and drink
alcohol in the camp," he revealed, adding that she now carries with her a
book of guidelines, which features illustrations such as a mosque marked with a
red cross, and a Chinese flag with a green tick.
used to pray regularly but now it's gone, and she has started occasionally
drinking (alcohol) which she does in the restaurants," he explained,
adding that he believed officials required such acts from the women.
too declined to give his name for fear of repercussions from authorities, who
make surprise visits to his wife's home in Xinjiang every week.
Leibold, an expert on Chinese security at Australia's La Trobe University, told
AFP that stepped-up surveillance policies in Xinjiang gave authorities
"increased confidence" in their ability to closely monitor those
released from the camps.
their release, the families of many of the women say they have become paranoid
and fear of being reported on.
worst thing was her silence," the merchant explained, adding: "She
suspects everyone, her parents, her family, even me." The seven other
traders interviewed by AFP, anonymously, have been in contact with their wives
only by telephone and gave similar testimonies.
Chinese foreign ministry in Beijing declined to comment on the releases, and a
Pakistani foreign ministry spokesman did not respond to requests.
Wang, Human Rights Watch's senior researcher on China, said the activist group
has heard stories of people being released from the camps and subjected to
house arrests or severe restrictions on movement.
releases may indicate that the Chinese government is increasingly sensitive to
heightening international pressure over its serious abuses in Xinjiang,"
month US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo renewed demands China end its
widespread detention of Uighur Muslims as he met with Mihrigul Tursun, who
claims to be a former detainee, and has spoken publicly about what she said was
widespread torture in the camps.
"cannot afford international criticism of its policies in Xinjiang to
spread throughout the Muslim world, especially in Pakistan", China
security expert Leibold explained.
recent years, China has strongly pushed its relationship with Pakistan,
investing heavily in infrastructure projects under the China-Pakistan Economic
its part, Pakistan has been reluctant to publicly join global condemnation of
Beijing's crackdown on Muslims in Xinjiang. When pressed on the subject in a
recent interview with the Financial Times, Prime Minister Imran Khan said:
"Frankly, I don't know much about that." But for the merchant and the
other traders, it is as though their wives are still lost.
explained: "My wife, a practising Muslim, has been turned into someone I
could not even imagine. She has given up her prayers, drinks and eats
added: "I am afraid our marriage will not last long because she is a
completely different person, someone whom I don't know."
local sources said that the Ankara-backed terrorists have begun excavations and
diggings in different parts of Afrin to gain access to archeological works
sources pointed to the terrorists' excavations in archeological sites and some
ancient graveyards, including Tal Jandaris and Houri Nabi, with modern
excavation machinery which has just come from Turkey, and said that the
terrorists transfer Syria's artifacts to Turkey with the assistance of the
artifacts director general had previously warned against terrorists' attempts
to plunder the archeological works from occupied regions in Northern Syria,
including Manbij, Afrin, Idlib and Raqqa.
had said that the Western countries, including the US and France help
terrorists in plundering Syria's
a relevant development earlier in April, the Kurdish-language media reported
that the Turkish Army had strengthened its military positions in areas under
its control in Afrin and set up another military base for Jeish al-Islam
Kurdish-language Hawar News quoted local sources in Afrin as saying that the
Ankara Army is presently setting up 3-meter walls in the surrounding areas of
its command centers in the villages of Afrin region, specially in the villages
bordering al-Shahba region.
report pointed to an attempt by the Turkish Army to destroy people's houses,
administrative buildings, schools and water reservoirs North of Jalbareh
village in Shirva, and said that the occupying army intends to set a new
military base in the same region.
informed sources reported that the Turkish troops are establishing a command
center and a camp for Jeish al-Islam terrorists near Kawa al-Haddad Square.
also said that the Jeish al-Islam terrorists are meant to use the camp for
training their militants.
military council: We are ready to negotiate but no chaos after today
military rulers said they were ready to negotiate with the opposition over the
political future of the country but there should be no further unrest beyond
Tuesday, a reference to protests disrupting trains and bridges.
groups and protesters have been pressing the Transitional Military Council
(TMC) to speed up the move to civilian rule since the army ousted former
President Omar al-Bashir on April 11.
are ready to negotiate but no chaos after today,” said the TMC’s deputy head
Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, who goes by the nickname Hemedti. “We told them,
continue with the sit-in, but the train is connected to delivering fuel,” he
main organizers of the protests - the Sudanese Professionals Association -
called on Monday for civil disobedience and a general strike as meetings with
the TMC failed to provide any breakthrough on the creation of a joint
civilian-military transitional council.
a press conference on Tuesday, the military said it would not disperse a
protest sit-in that has been taking place outside the defense ministry since
sit-in, the culmination of months of demonstrations against Bashir’s
three-decade rule, carried on after the army removed him from power, as
protesters demanded civilian rule.
have no interest in dispersing the sit-in but it’s in the interest of the
Sudanese people to open the roads,” said Lieutenant General Salah Abdelkhalek,
a TMC member.
also distanced the TMC from the previous government.
are part of the revolution and not part of the former regime as people view
the press conference, the TMC also said it had accepted the resignations of
three TMC members. The SPA had demanded that the three be dismissed over their
alleged role in a crackdown that killed dozens of protesters.
of the three members, who resigned last week, was Lieutenant-General Omar Zain
al-Abideen who headed the TMC’s political committee. The other two were
Lieutenant-General Jalal al-Deen al-Sheikh and Lieutenant-General Al-Tayeb
Babakr Ali Fadeel.
may lift its hold leading to ban on JeM chief
China on Tuesday hinted at ‘progress’ on designation of Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM)
chief Masood Azhar by the United Nations’ 1267 Sanctions Committee, as the
United States called for resolving the contentious matter.
Pakistani officials disclosed to Dawn that China could lift its technical hold
leading to Azhar’s designation, while developments in this regard are likely to
be shared by the Foreign Office with the media at a special briefing scheduled
for Wednesday (today).
foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang, speaking at a media briefing in
Beijing, said: “We support the listing issue being settled within the 1267
committee through dialogue and consultation and I believe this is the consensus
of most members. Second, the relevant consultations are going on within the
committee and have achieved some progress. Third, I believe, with the joint
efforts of all parties, this issue can be properly resolved.”
has been seeking Azhar’s listing since 2016, but the latest push came after the
February 14 Pulwama attack on the Central Reserve Police Force in India-held
Kashmir, which was claimed by the JeM. The Indian resolution was backed by UNSC
permanent members the US, the United Kingdom and France. China halted the
process by applying technical hold for the fourth time.
this time, the US, the UK and France, in a change of tactics, plan to table a
resolution in the Security Council.
Chinese spokesman Geng noted that the matter needed to be settled within 1267
Committee, Beijing has remained averse to dealing with the issue in the UNSC,
where proceedings are public as compared to the sanctions committee, which
operates under secrecy.
Wells, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central
Asian Affairs, while talking to journalists at the US Embassy in Islamabad,
said: “We would encourage the parties to move forward with the designation (of
Azhar). It reaffirms the centrality of UN and UN role in designating
noted: “We believe designation process should be technical in nature, even
assessment of evidence and countries moving forward to ensure that UN process
works and works well and the international community is able to take corrective
action against any terrorist, whoever they are, wherever they are located.”
Wells was on a two-day trip to Pakistan in which she met Chairman of the Joint
Chiefs of Staff Committee Gen Zubair Hayat, Army Chief Gen Qamar Bajwa, Adviser
to Prime Minister on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Foreign Secretary Sohail
Mahmood, and several other key officials. Her visit coincided with the trip of
US Special Envoy for Afghan Peace and Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and the
two together held a few meetings.
US embassy in a statement said Amb Wells in her interactions in Islamabad
underscored the importance of all actors in the region takings steps to advance
security, stability, and cooperation in South Asia.
the proceedings in Pakistan’s case, she told journalists that Pakistan would be
required to detail the steps it had taken to prevent the terrorist groups from
fund raising and organising.
about US assessment of the steps taken by Pakistan so far, Amb Wells said: “We
have heard some positive reports and partly seen some positive actions, but
FATF itself will determine whether it meets the level of identifying and
enforcing (restrictions on) the ability of these groups to fundraise and
prospects for improvement in Pakistan-India ties after the installation of new
government in India, the US official said that forward movement would depend on
the steps taken by Pakistan government to demonstrate its seriousness in
implementing the (National Action) plan.
the expectations from Pakistan, she said the government should take positive
steps to demonstrate its commitment to ensure that use of force was the
prerogative of the state and that militants groups could not use Pakistani
soil. The action against terrorist groups, she emphasized, needed to be
her attention was drawn to reports of Indian involvement in terrorism in
Pakistan and Indian and Afghan intelligence agencies funding Pashtun Tahaffuz
Movement (PTM), she said she did not have the evidence.
NATIONS: A decision on whether Pakistan-based Jaish-eMuhammed chief Masood
Azhar will be listed as a global terrorist by the United Nations will be known
Wednesday as the world body's Sanctions Committee holds a crucial meeting, amid
indications that China could lift its hold on the proposal to blacklist Azhar.
Council's 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee is expected to meet here and the
issue of Azhar's listing is likely to be considered. Sources said that the
outcome of the meeting - whether UNSC permanent member China decides to lift
its hold on the proposal to blacklist Azhar, paving the way for the UN to slap
sanctions against him - will be known Wednesday.
said on Tuesday that the vexed issue of designating Azhar as a global terrorist
by the UN will be "properly resolved."
had put a hold in March on a fresh proposal by the US, UK and France to impose
a ban on the chief of the JeM which claimed responsibility for the deadly
Pulwama terror attack. The proposal was the fourth such bid at the UN in the
last 10 years to list Azhar as a global terrorist.
2009, India had moved a proposal by itself to designate Azhar.
2016 again India moved the proposal with the P3 - the United States, the United
Kingdom and France in the UN's 1267 Sanctions Committee to ban Azhar, also the
mastermind of the attack on the air base in Pathankot in January, 2016.
2017, the P3 nations moved a similar proposal again.
on all occasions China, a veto-wielding permanent member of the Security
Council, blocked India's proposal from being adopted by the Sanctions
can only say that I believe that this will be properly resolved," Chinese
Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told a media briefing in Beijing.
was responding to questions on the media reports that China has reportedly
consented to lift its technical hold on a fresh proposal moved by France, the
UK and the US to list Azhar under the 1267 Al Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the
UN Security Council.
up the international pressure to designate Azhar as a global terrorist, the US,
supported by France and the UK, moved a draft resolution directly in the UN
Security Council to blacklist the Pakistan-based terror organisation's head.
China can exercise its veto power as a permanent member of the UNSC, Beijing
has staunchly opposed the issue to be taken to the apex UN body as it has to
publicly explain its stand on its reservations to list Azhar, whose group JeM
has already been designated as terror outfit by UN, before exercising its veto.
the listing issue in the 1267 Committee, we have expressed our position many
times and I just want to stress two points," Geng said answering a number
of questions on Azhar's issue.
we support the listing issue being settled within the 1267 committee through
dialogue and consultation and I believe this is the consensus of most members.
Second, the relevant consultations are going on within the committee and has
achieved some progress. Third, I believe, with the joint efforts of all
parties, this issue can be properly resolved," he said.
reports that China would lift its technical hold on May 1, he said, "on
the listing issue, China is still working with the relevant parties and we are
in contact with all relevant parties within the 1267 Committee and I believe
with the joint efforts of all parties, this will be properly resolved."
UNSC designation will subject Azhar to an assets freeze, travel ban and an arms
assets freeze under the Sanctions Committee requires that all states freeze
without delay the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of
designated individuals and entities.
travel ban entails preventing the entry into or transit by all states through
their territories by designated individuals.
the arms embargo, all states are required to prevent the direct or indirect
supply, sale and transfer from their territories or by their nationals outside
their territories, or using their flag vessels or aircraft, of arms and related
materiel of all types, spare parts, and technical advice, assistance, or training
related to military activities, to designated individuals and entities.
efforts to resolve Azhar's listing issue gathered momentum last week with the
visit of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan to Beijing to attend China's 2nd
Belt and Road Forum held from April 25-27.
the visit, Khan held talks with Xi, besides meeting Premier Li Keqiang and Vice
President Wang Qishan during which India-Pakistan tension following the Pulwama
terror attack as well as listing of Azhar reportedly figured.
official statement of China issued after Xi-Khan meeting on Sunday said the
Chinese President had expressed hope that Pakistan and India can meet each
other halfway and improve their relations.
DELHI: Citing India as one of the countries where it was increasingly difficult
to separate religion and politics and claiming that the religious freedom in
India continued a “downward trend” in 2018, the United States Commission on
International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has placed India on its Tier 2 list
along with countries like Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Cuba, Egypt,
Indonesia, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Laos, Malaysia, and Turkey.
are placed in Tier 2 for “engaging in or tolerating religious freedom
violations” that meet at least one of the elements of the “systematic, ongoing,
egregious” standard for designation as a “country of particular concern,” under
International Religious Freedom Act. Alleging that Indian government has
repeatedly denied USCIRF access to India, the commission has said it would
welcome an opportunity to openly and candidly engage with government.
history of religious freedom has come under attack in recent years with the
growth of exclusionary extremist narratives including, at times, the
government’s allowance and encouragement of mob violence against religious
minorities,” it has claimed.
Minister Narendra Modi has seldom made statements decrying mob violence, and
certain members of his political party have affiliations with Hindu extremist
groups and used inflammatory language about religious minorities publicly,” the
report further says.
Names New Emir In ‘Bengal’, Issues Threat To Carry Out Attacks
DELHI: Naming one Abu Muhammed al-Bengali as its new emir in ‘Bengal’, an
Islamic State affiliate group on Tuesday issued a direct threat to carry out
strikes in India and Bangladesh.
you think you have silenced the soldiers of the Khilafa in Bengal and Hind and
you are certain about that then listen we men are never to be silenced.. And
are thirst for revenge is never to be faded away (sic),” the IS poster released
in Bengali, English and Hindi reads. The development comes just a day after
Islamic State carried out a minor explosion near a cinema theatre in Dhaka. The
minor blast took place near Gulistan theatre around 7.30pm on Monday. Though no
casualties were reported as there was some problem with the bomb assembly, a
few policemen did sustain injuries in the blast.
IS released a statement in Arabic in the early hours of Tuesday through its
mouthpiece Amaq. Subsequently, it also released Bengali translation of its
statement on the Dhaka attack along with transcript of Baghdadi's speech.
Indian intelligence is closely monitoring the developments in Bangladesh as
they suspect that this incident could be a smokescreen and the real attack may
still be coming either in Bangladesh or West Bengal.
quick unfolding of developments and spurt in circulation of IS-related material
in Bengali language has rung alarm bells across agencies. Last Thursday, pro-IS
Telegram channels had released a poster in Bengali saying "Coming
soon", a development first reported by TOI.
Metropolitan Police chief Asaduzzaman Mia told the press on Tuesday that the
The Counter Terrorism and Transnational Crime and DMP’s bomb disposal units
were still investigating the incident. The improvised bomb that exploded in
Gulistan on Monday was different from normal crude bombs, he added.
had started a probe after the poster — which read: “Shighroi Aschhe (coming
soon), Inshallah..” — came into circulation on Telegram. The poster flashed the
logo of a group called al Mursalat and the Tuesday threat was issued by the same
is serious.. IS has just managed to pull of serial blasts in Colombo through a
local outfit called Tawheed Jamaat. Bangladesh already has a strong Islamic
State presence with a section of the local terrorist organisation named Jamatul
Mujahideen (NewJMB) being affiliated to the ISIS central,” an officer said.
Suspected Islamic State operative Riyas Aboobacker alias Abu Dujana, arrested
by National Investigation Agency (NIA) in the Kasaragod IS module case, was “mentally
prepared” to carry out a suicide attack but was yet to acquire explosives,
agency sources said on Tuesday.
said he was in frequent contact with IS operatives who migrated to Afghanistan
and Syria like Abdul Rashid, Ashfaq Majeed and Abdul Khayoom, who prepared him
mentally for a suicide attack in the state. The agency is on the lookout for a
resident of Kollam who is the fourth member of the module.
had agreed to con-duct the suicide attack but the location was not decided and
explosives were not procured,” an officer said.
(29) was presented before the special court in Kochi on Tuesday and remanded in
judicial custody till May 29. The NIA has filed a petition seeking his custody
for five days, which judge K Sathyan has agreed to hear on Monday. NIA counsel Arjun
Ambalapatta submitted before the court that Aboobacker, a resident of
Kollengode in Palakkad, was an IS member and he was following the speeches of
Sri Lankan bomber Zahran Hashim and Zakir Naik.
sources said they were yet to decide on recording the arrest of the other two
members of the cell, Ahamed Arafat and Aboobacker Siddique of Kasaragod. They
were being quizzed at the Kochi NIA office for the past two days. All three
were named accused numbers 18 to 20 in the 2015 case lodged after 15 persons
from Kasaragod moved to Afghanistan and Syria.
of the 15 who left India have been killed, they added.
Sena Wants Ban On Burqa, Niqab To Prevent Terror Attacks
DELHI: Right-wing fringe group Hindu Sena has written to the Home Ministry,
demanding a complete ban on face covers, Burqa and niqab at public places and
government and private institutions on the lines of Sri Lanka to prevent terror
his letter to home secretary Rajiv Gauba, Hindu Sena national president Vishnu
Gupta said intelligence failures in Sri Lanka led to synchronized suicide
bombings by terrorists in churches in the island nation recently, resulting in
more than 250 deaths.
request you to immediately formulate policies at both tactical and strategic
levels to prevent occurrence of such attacks in India and Indian territories,
including embassies and high commissions, all across the world," the
impose a ban on full face covers and dresses like Burqa and niqab at all public
places and inside government and private institutions. These kind of head
coverings enable terrorists to hide their identity from CCTV cameras and other surveillance
measures in place. Sri Lanka has already implemented this policy," Gupta
Lanka Monday enforced a ban on Burqa, a week after suicide bombers claiming links
to Islamic State blew themselves up, killing more than 250 people in churches
and hotels on Easter Sunday.
January 22, the Hindu Sena had paid tributes to Queen Victoria on her 118th
death anniversary here, saying she "freed India from the autocratic rule
of the Mughals".
step forward in Muslim-Christian ties in Malaysia
Sunday, on April 28, it was reported that a group of Malaysian Muslims visited
a church to show their solidarity with the Christian community following the
horrifying Easter attacks in Sri Lanka. The group, known as the Global Unity
Network, visited St Joseph’s Church in Sentul and observed the congregation at
Mass, after which they engaged in a dialogue session with the church’s priest
Father George Packiasamy. I have to admit that when I first saw the headlines,
I was slightly shocked. But in a good way, of course.
relations in Malaysia have a rocky history. Since the government’s introduction
of the Islamisation project back in the 1980s, Malaysian Christians have
continuously expressed fears of encroachment into their rights and freedom to
practice their religion. Much of their concern has had to do with practical
issues. For example, the difficulty in getting land for the construction of new
churches, and protests by local Muslim communities against the construction
when the land is finally allocated to them. There was also the case of the
ministry of home affair’s ban on the use of “Allah” in the Alkitab, the
Malay-language Bible, and the Herald, the Catholic newsweekly.
latter, known as the “Allah controversy”, was a long-drawn affair involving the
ministry, the Catholic Church, the courts, and even Islamic NGOs. When the High
Court ruled in 2009 that the ministry’s decision to prohibit Christians from
using ‘Allah’ was unconstitutional and that Christians should be allowed to use
“Allah” in their worship, Malaysia garnered public attention when several
churches across the country were attacked. Clearly, the idea of Christians
using the word “Allah” did not sit comfortably with certain segments of the
Muslim community, and was even deemed to be a threat to national security.
the High Court ruling was overturned by the Court of Appeal in 2013.
the affair, Christians bore the brunt of the politicisation of religion. It was
not uncommon – and still isn’t – to hear certain Muslim groups and individuals
referring to the Christian community as having some sort of “agenda” to convert
Muslims and to take over the country, or that their use of “Allah” is a threat
to the sanctity and supremacy of Islam and is an insult to Muslims.
that reason, there is often this fear among some Muslims that if they were to
visit a church, or if they were to engage in dialogue with Christians, they
would somehow be converted to Christianity. Often times, Muslims are warned by
their religious leaders and teachers to steer clear of such dialogue. The
Christian community in Malaysia is therefore no stranger to misconceptions,
prejudice, discrimination, violence and hatred. Hence, when I saw the headlines
concerning this visit to the church, I was not only shocked, but I also felt a
mix of worry and hope.
reading the reports, I quickly scrolled down to the comments sections on
various media platforms, worrying (and even expecting) that I would see snide
remarks about how Muslims shouldn’t be stepping foot into a church lest their
faith gets threatened. I found none. Sure, some said that the report was
possibly fake news, while others anticipated that the Muslim visitors would
face backlash for visiting the church. But on the whole, netizens responded
with a sense of hope, expressing their aspirations for a Malaysia in which
people of different faiths not only tolerate one another, but are open-minded
and willing to engage in genuine interaction with one another. In fact, people
said such visits should happen more often.
too feel the same way. When I saw the picture of the Muslim women sitting among
the congregation at Mass, I felt a sense of warmth and optimism. That picture
in itself demonstrates to fellow Muslims that it is more than all right to be
able to step into a church in peace and to be able to show compassion for
others, regardless of their faith. Furthermore, it shows that they bring no
harm upon themselves in going to the church, or any place of worship, for that
matter. More often than not, people benefit from such visits as they are given
the opportunity to directly engage with others and to allay their own fears and
misconceptions. However, as one of the netizens said, perhaps these Muslims
would face a backlash for their actions. Nevertheless, I believe that their
actions, as well as that picture, serve as a powerful symbol of the hope for
Muslim-Christian relations in Malaysia.
the fasting month around the corner, some mosques and some Muslim families will
probably be inviting Christians and other non-Muslims to join them in the
breaking of their fast. While it is indeed commendable that Muslims are willing
to invite non-Muslims to share the experience of Ramadhan with them, it is
another and more inspirational step forward for Muslims to be able to step out
of their comfort zone and to visit others in their places of worship.
this should not only happen in times of crisis, but should be something that we
strive to do even when the local or global situation is relatively peaceful. It
is therefore my hope that the visit of this Muslim group serves as an example
to other Malaysian Muslims, as well as Malaysians in general, that it is
possible to build a Malaysia in which open hearts and open minds trump bigotry.
TOWN, May 1 ― The sole PAS assemblyman in Penang today called on the state
government to formulate a new legislation to prevent the spread of non-Muslim
religions to Muslims.
Yusni Mat Piah (PAS-Penaga) said the proposed enactment is necessary as there
were several such incidents at a school in Bukit Mertajam when Muslims were the
target of distribution of biblical leaflets, at a park in Penaga and early this
year, there was the issue involving the developer of a residence in Jelutong
which displayed lighting in the form of a cross at night.
to him, Article 3 of the Federal Constitution provides for Islam as the
religion of the Federation but other religions may be practised in peace and
want to propose to the state government to create an enactment in line with
Article 11 (4) of the Federal Constitution which empowers the state government
or federal government to formulate laws to control and curb non-Muslim
religions from spreading their teachings or beliefs to Muslims,” he said here
was debating in the motion of thanks for the Penang Yang Dipertua Negeri’s
speech at the State Legislative Assembly.
President Donald Trump is working to designate the Muslim Brotherhood a foreign
terrorist organization (FTO), the White House said on Tuesday, which would
bring sanctions against Egypt's oldest Islamist movement.
president has consulted with his national security team and leaders in the
region who share his concern and this designation is working its way through
the internal process," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi asked Trump to make the designation during an
April 9 visit to Washington, a senior US official said, confirming a report in
the New York Times on Tuesday.
the meeting, Trump praised Sisi as a "great president" while a
bipartisan group of US lawmakers raised concerns about Sisi's human rights
record, his efforts to stay in office until 2034 and Egypt's planned Russian
White House did not say on what basis it might label the group a terrorist
organization and former officials questioned whether the group met the legal
standard of engaging in "terrorist activity" that threatens US
citizens or national security.
Brotherhood, which estimates its membership at up to 1 million people, came to
power in Egypt's first modern free election in 2012, a year after long-serving
autocrat and US ally Hosni Mubarak was toppled in a popular uprising.
Egypt's army chief in 2013, Sisi engineered the removal of elected President
Mohamed Mursi, a senior Brotherhood figure, and a subsequent crackdown on its
supporters as well as liberal opposition in Egypt. Sisi was then elected
president in 2014.
Mursi's overthrow, the Brotherhood was swiftly banned in Egypt. Authorities
declared it a terrorist organization and jailed thousands of followers as well
as much of its leadership, including Mursi.
Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928, says it is a non-violent movement and
denies any relationship to violent insurgencies waged by al Qaeda and Islamic
will remain ... steadfast in our work in accordance with our moderate and
peaceful thinking," the Brotherhood said in a statement on its website.
was not clear if the administration was considering blacklisting only the
Egyptian branch as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) or all regional
offshoots of what analysts say is a heterogeneous group with no central
proposal to designate the group set off a debate within Trump's national
security team, the senior US official said.
House national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
support the designation but officials at the Pentagon and elsewhere have been
opposed and want more limited action, the senior official said.
President has heard the concerns about the Muslim Brotherhood from our friends
and allies in the Middle East, as well as here at home," said a second
senior US official. "Any potential designation would go through a robust,
deliberate, and inclusive interagency process."
US officials were skeptical that the Brotherhood met the US legal standard to
be designated an FTO.
Benjamin, the State Department's former top official for counterterrorism who
teaches at Dartmouth College, called the idea "mystifying," saying
the agency considered the designation in 2017 but concluded there was no basis.
said US domestic political considerations could be at play with Trump facing
re-election in 2020. "There is no question that there has been an effort
to meet the appetites of Trump's very Islamophobic base," he said.
Blazakis, a former State Department official who oversaw the FTO designation
process, voiced concern that US rightwing groups would be encouraged to call
for legal action against domestic Muslim advocacy organizations.
will be used to go after organizations inappropriately within the United
States," said Blazakis, head of the Middlebury Institute of International
Studies' Center on Terrorism, Extremism and Counter-Terrorism.
said the designation also could complicate US dealings with officials across
the Middle East.
US law, someone who provides "material support" to terrorist groups
is subject to extensive penalties. Material support is defined widely and can
cover anything from providing funds, transportation or counterfeit documents to
giving food, helping to set up tents or distributing literature.
nationals who deal with such groups can be denied US visas or removed from the
United States if in the country.
Yehya Hamed, who served as investment minister in the Mursi government, said
Trump is "trying to fight with the wind," pointing to the prominent
role of Islamist political parties in Tunisia and Morocco.
Trump is doing is bringing more instability to the region," Hamed said.
designating the Brotherhood could also worsen the US relationship with NATO
ally Turkey. The organization has close ties with President Tayyip Erdogan's
ruling AK Party and many of its members fled to Turkey after it was banned in
Afghanistan: The Taliban say a fresh round of talks with US peace envoy Zalmay
Khalilzad is to begin in Qatar, where the religious movement maintains a
has been tasked with finding a negotiated end to Afghanistan’s 17-year war and
America’s longest military confrontation.
spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told the Associated Press that Wednesday’s talks
will be the sixth round of direct meetings with the Khalilzad since his
appointment last year. Talks are narrowly focused on a US troop withdrawal and
Taliban guarantees that Afghanistan will not be used to stage global terrorist
who was in Pakistan on Tuesday, is touring the region to press Afghanistan as
well as its neighbors to forge ahead toward finding a peaceful end to the
President Donald Trump has criticised European countries for refusing to take
back foreign ISIS fighters imprisoned in Syria by coalition forces.
American leader said US involvement in fighting against the terror group in
Syria had been done for the benefit of European nations.
have 1,800 ISIS Prisoners taken hostage in our final battles to destroy 100% of
the Caliphate in Syria. Decisions are now being made as to what to do with
these dangerous prisoners," Mr Trump wrote on Twitter on Tuesday.
countries are not helping at all, even though this was very much done for their
benefit. They are refusing to take back prisoners from their specific
countries. Not good!"
countries are not helping at all, even though this was very much done for their
benefit. They are refusing to take back prisoners from their specific
countries. Not good!
PM - Apr 30, 2019
Ads info and privacy
people are talking about this
on Tuesday, Britain’s Middle East minister held a roundtable of ambassadors
from across the region to discuss the potential threat posed by ISIS.
Field said that he had discussed what the next phase of tackling ISIS could be,
on the back of ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi reappearing after five years in
new images circulated on Monday despite the extremist group being wiped out on
the battlefields of Syria.
once controlled territory roughly the size of the UK, but thanks to the
military campaign by the Global Coalition and its partners on the ground it no
longer occupies land. 7.7 million people have been liberated from its rule,”
said Mr Field.
as the Foreign Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, has said, ‘we cannot be complacent. Even
without territory, [ISIS] and its poisonous ideology will continue to pose a
threat to the people of Iraq and Syria, as well as to the wider world.”
claimed the Sri Lanka terror attacks on Monday in a video but it remains
unclear as to when the footage was filmed.
video showing Muslims protesting crackdown by Sri Lanka after blasts is false
the deadly Easter blasts in Sri Lanka on April 21 that killed more than 250
people, social media has seen a flurry of posts, many of which later turned out
to be false. Now, a video circulating on social media claims that Muslims have
been protesting in London against the crackdown by Sri Lanka following the
Today's Anti-Fake News War Room (AFWA) has found the claim to be false, as the
viral video has no relation with the recent attacks. This is a video of a
protest that happened in 2013 in London.
in London against action taken by Sri Lankan Government.. Against Tertorist who
organised synchronised bomb attacks in the country..! Their brothers just
killed 290 Christians in Srilanka..! Is this a joke or something.. Now
terrorists are Victims..!!", posted a Twitter user "Major Subrat
Mishra SM" on Monday. The post has the two-minute-long viral video
attached in which Muslim men with placards against the Sri Lankan government
can be seen.
to Mishra's Twitter bio, he is a decorated army veteran. Hundreds have liked
and shared his post.
post can be found on Face book and YouTube as well. "Narendra Modi -
Election 2019" posted this on YouTube on April 29. Facebook users
"Pushpendra Kulshrestha", "Arvind Shenoi" and many others
have posted the same video and message.
slicing up the video in key frames and using Yandex reverse image search, we
found a blog written on April 6, 2013, where still pictures of a similar
protest can be seen.
the blog which was originally written in Indonesian language, we came to know
that there was a protest by Muslims in April 2013 in London against the Sri
found a news report published by mainstream news website "Colombo
Telegraph" on April 11, 2013. According to this report, Muslims gathered
outside the Sri Lankan embassy in London on April 5, 2013, to condemn alleged
oppression by the island country.
found a longer video of this protest on YouTube, published in May 2013, where
the same visuals can be seen in the initial two minutes.
we conclude that the claim is completely wrong as the protest video six years
old and has no relation with the blasts in Sri Lanka.
after serial blasts on Easter Sunday, cable operators in Sri Lanka blocked
Islamic preacher Zakir Naik’s Peace TV, according to sources. India and
Bangladesh have already banned Peace TV, which has often been used by ISIS
recruiters for indoctrination and brainwashing youth. The official announcement
in this regard is yet to be made.
Monday, the National Investigation Agency (NIA) arrested an Islamic State
sympathiser and follower, identified as Riyas Aboobacker, of alleged Sri Lanka
bombings mastermind Zahran Hasim from Kerala, the agency said. Aboobacker
admitted that he wanted to carry out a suicide attack in Kerala. The
29-year-old told the NIA that he has been following Hasim for more than a year
and has also followed the speeches of Zakir Naik, an absconding Indian Islamic
preacher and the founder of the Islamic Research Foundation.
has been under investigation since 2016, when the Centre banned his Islamic
Research Foundation (IRF) for five years. The controversial preacher is accused
of inciting youth to take up terror activities, giving hate speeches and
promoting enmity between communities.
is being probed by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) on several charges
under the Indian Penal Code and the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA).
The preacher, declared a proclaimed offender by a special NIA court in June
2017, is accused of inciting youth to take up terror activities, giving hate
speeches and promoting enmity between communities. The NIA filed a charge sheet
against Naik and others before a Mumbai court in October 2017.
explosion ripped through the vehicle of the border police forces in
Mazar-e-Sharif city, the provincial capital of Balkh province.
spokesman for Balkh Police Headquarters Adilshah Adil confirmed the incident
and said the explosion was triggered by a magnetic bomb planted in police
further added that the incident took place later this afternoon close to the
municipality compound of Mazar-e-Sharif city.
said the body of a border policeman who lost his life in the explosion has been
shifted to hospital.
the meantime, reports emerging from the area suggest that two other people have
also sustained injuries in the explosion.
least 20 Taliban militants were killed and two others were detained in an
operation of the Afghan Special Forces in eastern Nangarhar province.
informed military sources said Tuesday that the operation was conducted in
Khugyani district of the province.
Special Forces conducted a raid in Khugyani district killing 20 Taliban
fighters, detaining two and destroying 7 IEDs and 4 hand grenades,” the sources
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the operation so far.
has been among the relatively provinces in East of Afghanistan but the security
situation in some of its remote districts has started to deteriorated during
the recent years.
Brotherhood financier and 6 others get life sentences in Egypt
Egypt has sentenced seven Muslim Brotherhood members, including one of the
group’s top financiers, to life in prison on charges of joining and funding a
Supreme State Security Emergency Court sentenced three others to 10 years,
while acquitting 14. The verdicts can be appealed.
sentenced to life include Hassan Malek, a businessman who owned stores that imported
computers and electronics, and his son.
Muslim Brotherhood won a series of elections after the 2011 uprising that
toppled President Hosni Mubarak. Muhammad Mursi, a senior Brotherhood figure,
became Egypt’s first freely-elected president the following year.
military overthrew Mursi in 2013 amid massive protests against his brief rule.
Authorities have since branded the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization
and arrested thousands of its members.
leader tries to rally supporters with claims of 'steadfastness' after
video is a studied piece of militant Islamist theatre. In it, ISIS leader Abu
Bakr Al Baghdadi assumes the role of humble warrior, seated cross-legged in a
grey robe and utility vest, conferring with three close companions.
at his side is an AKS-74U assault rifle – a shortened AK-47 variant used by the
Soviets in Afghanistan, where captured specimens were much-prized by Mujahedeen
fighters. In Islamic militant circles, the weapon is sometimes called “the
Osama”; the favoured sidepiece of Al Qaeda founder Osama bin Laden. The rifle’s
Islamist pedigree was further established by its appearance in propaganda videos
by Abu Musab Al Zarqawi, the founder of ISIS’ predecessor Al Qaeda in Iraq.
the video released by ISIS on Tuesday, Baghdadi’s demeanour contrasts starkly
with his only other public appearance, where he declared himself caliph from
the minbar of Mosul’s Al Nouri Mosque in front of hundreds of worshippers in
a finger-wagging Baghdadi assumed the mantle of religious leader, quoting the
prophet’s father-in-law Abu Bakr and cloaking himself in black robes
reminiscent of the Abbasid caliphs, whose 500-year reign from Baghdad
encapsulated the golden age of Islamic civilisation.
contrast, the “caliphate” declared by Baghdadi – which at its peak ruled over a
population of 8 million people across a third of Iraq and Syria – was destroyed
in less than five years. The hardships of this short era have marked the
world’s most wanted man. Baghdadi’s beard, hennaed after the fashion of the
prophet, has greyed. His face is now deeply lined.
his carefully staged and edited message was clear. Despite tribulations, the
ISIS leader is alive and apparently well. And he wants the world to know that
the organisation he heads is enduring and steadfast, a term he mentions a dozen
times in the 18-minute video.
year started disastrously for ISIS. After losing most of its territory in Iraq
and Syria over the past three years, by January its supporters were encircled
in a riverside hamlet in Syria’s Deir Ezzour. The loss of Baghouz was
particularly damaging from a propaganda angle as fighters from the once terrifying
group were shown abject and defeated, surrendering by their hundreds to
US-backed Syrian forces. Among the dead and captured were key members of the
group’s “Ministry of Media”.
meanwhile has been notable mainly by his public silence at a time when many
close to him have been killed or apprehended. His teenage son was reportedly
killed in Homs last July, while his own death has been reported several times.
reportedly being seriously wounded in an airstrike in 2015, Baghdadi today looks
healthy. Likewise, while he acknowledged his group’s recent losses, he
commended his followers for their “steadfastness”. The battle for Baghouz
showed the "barbarism and brutality" of the West, he said, but “the
battle of Islam and its people against the Crusaders and their followers is a
reality, the loss of its territory has been a serious but not fatal setback for
ISIS. While it has lost much of its ability to raise funds along with its
attraction as a destination for foreign recruits, a series of recent attacks
and foiled attempts claimed by ISIS indicates that the group is successfully
shifting towards a globalised insurgency.
Easter Sunday bombings in Sri Lanka, which killed at least 250 people, is one
example of recent attacks claimed by ISIS. Saudi authorities last week thwarted
an attack in which the would-be perpetrators produced an allegiance video
remarkably similar to that released by the Sri Lanka attackers.
attacks have occurred in regions not historically afflicted by Islamist
violence, including the Democratic Republic of Congo. Elsewhere ISIS seems
eager to capitalise on Islamist insurgencies fuelled by localised grievances,
including in Burkina Faso, where a church was attacked on Sunday.
to appear as an historic power with the ability to challenge the West and
attract a global following, ISIS needs to portray itself as a monolithic
entity, rather than a loose corpus of extremist ideology vague enough to appeal
to fringe radicals motivated by any number of local injustices, real and
imagined. For this reason, it is not only important for ISIS to claim
responsibility for attacks after the fact, Baghdadi needs to appear to be
leading his “nation of Islam.”
his address, Baghdadi referred repeatedly to ISIS’ resilience and enduring
global power. Of the defence of Baghouz, he said: "This steadfastness
ripped out the hearts of the Crusaders, which increased their fury and
to the message is the portrayal of Baghdadi as the administrator of a centrally
run insurgency. In the video, he says he has accepted pledges of allegiance
from militants in Burkina Faso and Mali. Later, he pantomimes receiving monthly
reports on activities in the various “provinces” of ISIS, including Somalia,
Yemen, West Africa and the until now unknown “Turkey province”.
video showed little of the editing flair that characterised earlier ISIS
releases. It was published without subtitles or accompanying foreign language
transcripts, unlike Baghdadi’s previous audio release last August. Many of
ISIS’s formerly prolific media operatives were killed or captured in the defeat
of Baghouz, including Mohammed Khalifa, who narrated the notorious 2014 Flames
of War video and surrendered in January. In his address, Baghdadi acknowledged
by name the death of other “knights of media”, including Abu Abdullah Al
Australi, a shadowy Australian believed to have served as ISIS propaganda
there is no overt indication of where the video filmed – the faces of the three
other men are blurred and a sheet hangs behind them to obscure details of their
surroundings – Baghdadi is believed to be hiding somewhere in western Iraq or
across the border in Syria. Certainly the mats and bolsters he sits on are
typical furnishings in this part of the world. With all the technology of US
intelligence arrayed against him, from satellite surveillance to informants on
the ground, the man with a $25 million bounty on his head is no doubt paranoid
video is recently recorded, with Baghdadi mentioning the protests in Algeria
and Sudan that overthrew longstanding leaders. Sri Lanka though is only
mentioned in a voiceover, suggesting the original video was conceived
independently of that attack rather than in response to it. Likewise, Baghdadi
does not mention the Christchurch mosque shootings in March.
white supremacist gunman who killed 50 Muslims in New Zealand preached a
similar narrative of a clash of civilisations between Islam and the West and
likewise understood how to harness media to seize global attention.
President Michel Aoun urged ministers on Tuesday to speed up discussions on the
2019 draft budget so that parliament can approve it by the end of
with one of the world’s heaviest public debt burdens and years of low economic
growth, the Lebanese government has vowed to carry out overdue reforms.
it risks facing public anger at potential cuts to the massive public wage bill,
including salaries, pensions and benefits - the Lebanese state’s biggest expense.
Retired army officers who fear pension cuts protested on Tuesday as ministers
convened at the presidential palace to start debating the draft budget.
budget will test the government’s will to enact reforms, which economists say
are more pressing than ever. State finances are strained by a bloated public
sector, high debt servicing costs and hefty subsidies spent on the power
Minister Saad al-Hariri has said Lebanon faces catastrophe if the government
does not carry out what may be the most austere budget in its history.
Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi has warned that even though the Takfiri Daesh
terrorist group has been militarily weakened, it has not been defeated and
remains a potent threat around the world.
is not just a small organization, it's widespread and will try to put
confidence back in its militants and carry out acts such as those in Sri
Lanka,” Abdul Mahdi said at a joint press conference with German Chancellor
Angela Merkel on Tuesday.
series of coordinated bombings on Easter Sunday rocked Sri Lanka, killing at
least 253 people and wounding 500 others.
attacks targeted three churches as well as four hotels in the capital, Colombo.
later claimed responsibility for the bomb attacks. “The perpetrators of the
attack that targeted nationals of the countries of the coalitions and
Christians in Sri Lanka before yesterday are fighters from Daesh,” the terror
group said in a bulletin posted by its Aamaq news agency.
Iraqi premier also pointed to the appearance of the elusive leader of Daesh,
Ibrahim al-Samarrai aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, for the first time in five years
in a propaganda video.
and a half years ago, Daesh controlled large areas in Iraq and Syria, and now
Baghdadi appears in an isolated, unknown location," Abdul Mahdi commented.
did not seem to be among his followers like the first time in Mosul", he
said, referring to a July 2014 video in
which Baghdadi announced the birth of the group's so-called caliphate across
swathes of Iraq and Syria during a speech at the Grand al-Nuri Mosque in the
strategic northern Iraqi city.
has not completely disappeared but suffered painful blows,” Abdul Mahdi
noted that the Takfiri terrorist group “was broken, but if little cells are
left, it could reactivate and resurface and commit painful attacks.”
for her part, said Baghdadi’s appearance in the 18-minute video was a sign that
“we will remain occupied for some time to come with the question of how Daesh
can finally be defeated.”
former Iraqi prime minister, Haider al-Abadi, declared the end of military
operations against Daesh in the country on December 9, 2017.
July 10 that year, he had formally declared victory over Daesh in the strategic
northern city of Mosul, which served as the terrorists’ main urban stronghold
Daesh remains a potent threat around the world despite reduced capabilities,
Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi said on Tuesday, adding its leader Abu
Bakr Al-Baghdadi had made his latest video appearance in a "remote
Mahdi did not say which country that area was in.
video released late on Monday by Daesh's propaganda wing showed a man it said
was Al-Baghdadi in what would be his first appearance since he declared the
extremists' now-defunct "caliphate" five years ago.
authenticity and date of the recording could not be independently verified.
Mahdi said Baghdadi's appearance was an attempt to boost militants and that
Daesh would attempt to carry out more attacks.
the location of Baghdadi, we can't give intelligence information right now but
it's clear from the video that he's in a remote area," Abdul Mahdi said at
a news conference on a visit to Berlin.
an Iraqi, is believed to be hiding out in an isolated area of either Iraq or
Syria, part of vast desert regions Daesh once held and from where it is thought
the extremists are now waging regular insurgent-style attacks against security
forces in both countries.
Al-Hashemi, a security adviser to the Iraqi government, said officials had
narrowed his whereabouts from 17 to a possible four locations.
are in the desert of Iraq's Anbar (province) or in the (eastern) desert of Homs
in Syria," he said.
Mahdi said Daesh's capabilities had "greatly reduced" but that the
group still posed a threat.
is not just a small organisation, it's widespread and will try to put
confidence back in its militants and carry out acts such as those in Sri
Lanka," he said, referring to the Easter Sunday attacks claimed by the
group which killed more than 250 people.
the 18-minute video, a bearded man with Al-Baghdadi's appearance says the
bombings in Sri Lanka were Daesh's response to losses in its last territorial
stronghold of Baghouz in Syria.
killed as tensions mount between Sudan military rulers, protesters
least six Sudanese security personnel have been killed and several others
injured in a series of violent clashes with protesters, as tensions mounted
over the makeup of a new joint civilian-military council.
Hamdan Dagalo, the Transitional Military Council (TMC)'s vice president said in
a press briefing on Tuesday that the clashes took place after demonstrators
reinforced barricades outside the army headquarters in the capital Khartoum
over the past 24 hours.
different incidents, six people from the security forces were killed and 16
wounded," said Dagalo, adding, "There were incidents of burning of
markets and looting."
also warned that the army will not accept unrest in the country.
will not accept chaos. We will deal with it firmly in accordance with the
law," he stated, noting, "We do not want to escalate the situation. We
are committed to negotiation. After today, there will be no chaotic
the Alliance for Freedom and Change, Sudan's leading protest group in a
statement on Tuesday called for a "million-strong march" to demand a
are calling for a million-strong march on May 2 to assert our main demand,
which is for civilian rule," the statement read.
Monday, Sudan's main protest group said the military was trying to remove
barricades at the sit-in outside the army headquarters.
military council is a copy cat of the toppled regime. The army is trying to
disperse the sit-in by removing the barricades," said the Sudanese
Professionals Association (SPA), the group that first launched a movement
against the government of Omar al-Bashir.
are calling on our people to come immediately to the sit-in area. We are
calling on the revolutionaries to protect the barricades and rebuild
the anger of protesters, a top Sudanese general announced Tuesday that the new
body would be headed by current military ruler General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan.
comes as the military and the opposition remains divided over the composition
of a joint civilian-military council.
military had earlier agreed to allow civilians into the transitional
administrative body. It also accepted
the resignation of three of its members who were accused by the opposition of
being involved in a recent crackdown that left dozens of protesters dead.
joint council is supposed to replace the military body that took power after
Bashir’s ouster in the face of mass protests against his three-decade rule.
the two sides are at odds over its composition, with the military pushing for a
10-member council including seven military representatives and three civilians.
protesters want a majority of civilians on a 15-member joint council with seven
of protesters have been camping outside the army headquarters in Khartoum,
almost three weeks after the military and security forces removed Omar
al-Bashir from power on April 11.
military rulers and protest leaders have failed to reach an agreement on a
joint civilian-military council to rule the African nation after holding talks,
with the protest organizers calling for continued civil disobedience and a
key protest group in Sudan called for the defiant measures on Monday after
talks with current military rulers — functioning as the Transitional Military
Council (TMC) — earlier in the day failed to provide any breakthrough on the
establishment of a joint transitional council.
TMC spokesman Shams El Din Kabbashi described the Monday talks as positive and
claimed the two sides had agreed to clear certain sites occupied by protesters,
the civilian-led Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) denied agreeing to
end the acts of civil disobedience.
said that during the negotiations, the SPA had agreed to open some roads, a
railway line, and two bridges that lead to or pass near the military
headquarters in the capital, Khartoum.
SPA said no such agreement had been made. “This is counter to reality and
negates any agreement with the military council, and we affirm that we are
maintaining our sit-in, and everything that the [TMC] spokesman said is
incorrect,” the SPA said in a statement later on Monday.
protest movement further called for a general strike and civil disobedience
through the holy month of Ramadan — beginning in early May — and the Eid
holidays that follow.
military council is a copycat of the toppled regime. The army is trying to
disperse the sit-in by removing the barricades,” added the SPA statement, in
reference to the regime of long-time president Omar al-Bashir, which was
toppled on April 11. “We are calling on our people to come immediately to the
sit-in area. We are calling on the revolutionaries to protect the barricades
and rebuild them.”
TMC spokesman told reporters after the Monday talks that “the military council
has presented its vision for a 10-member joint council, with seven military
representatives and three civilians.” He said the other side “presented its
vision of a 15-member joint council, with eight civilians and seven military
also said the talks would resume on Tuesday.
joint council, if agreed, would replace the existing military council that took
power after the army ousted Bashir amid popular protests against his rule.
Bashir, the TMC is backed by despotic Arab states in the Persian Gulf such as
Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
formation of a joint council would further pave the way for a civilian
administration as demanded by the protesters.
King Abdullah II has ordered a review of his country’s multi-billion-dollar
deal to import natural gas from the Israeli-occupied territories.
London-based and Arabic-language Asharq al-Awsat newspaper, citing senior
Jordanian political sources, reported that the king made the decision “in a
technical report that examines Jordan’s interests from the continuation or the
freezing of the agreement.”
Bakkar, the head of the finance committee in the Jordanian parliament, said the
gas deal apart from being “blatant normalization” with the Israeli regime, is
“economically weak” based on the feasibility studies.
stressed that Jordan’s energy production surpassed the country’s needs, and the
import of Israeli gas was only for the benefit of the Tel Aviv regime.
September 26, 2016, Jordan’s National Electric Power Company signed a
10-billion-dollar deal with US-based Noble Energy and Israeli partners, which
will tap the Leviathan natural gas field in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast
of Israel for the supply of approximately 1.6 trillion cubic feet of natural
gas, or 300 million cubic feet per day (mcf/d), over a 15-year term. Production
is expected to begin around 2019 or 2020.
March 26, members of Jordan’s parliament called for the cancellation of the gas
deal with Israel during a parliamentary session closed to the public.
Speaker Atef Tarawneh stated that all sectors of the society and members of
parliament utterly reject Jordanian electricity company agreement to buy
Israeli natural gas.
legislators argued that the multi-billion-dollar deal violates Article 33,
section two of the Jordanian constitution, which states: “Treaties and
agreements which entail any expenditures to the Treasury of the State or affect
the public or private rights of Jordanians shall not be valid unless approved
by the parliament; and in no case shall the secret terms in a treaty or
agreement be contrary to the overt terms.”
Saddah al-Habashneh said the deal was unconstitutional, stressing that members
of parliament were not given access to read what he called the “secret” deal.
are they hiding it? It’s a clue that there is something. It is totally
rejected,” he commented.
then demanded the deal be scrapped along with Jordan’s peace accord with Israel
– known as Wadi Araba Treaty and signed on October 26, 1994.
are calling for the Wadi Araba agreement to be dropped. What is peace when
they’re attacking Gaza?” the parliamentarian said.
with yesterday’s recognition of the Golan Heights, what’s left? We want
dignity,” he pointed out.
March 25, US President Donald Trump signed a proclamation, formally recognizing
Israel's sovereignty over the Golan Heights. The announcement came as Israeli
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visited the White House.
Syrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Expatriates, in a statement, called the
US decision a “blatant attack on the sovereignty and territorial integrity” of
liberation of the Golan by all available means and its return to the Syrian
motherland is an inalienable right,” according to the statement carried by
Syria’s official news agency SANA, which added, “The decision ... makes the
United States the main enemy of the Arabs.”
Arab League also condemned the move, saying "Trump's recognition does not
change the area's status."
Iraq, Russia and Turkey also condemned the US move.
Nigeria: Boko Haram jihadists have killed 14 loggers as they collected firewood
in northeast Nigeria, residents and anti-Boko Haram militia have told AFP.
bodies of the men were found at Duwabayi village near the garrison town of
Monguno in Borno state late Tuesday by other loggers.
bodies of the 14 men were evacuated to the police station in Monguno after some
people reported seeing the bodies,” a militia leader in the town said.
village was deserted last year after residents fled into camps in Monguno due
to Boko Haram attacks.
loyal to an IS-backed faction of the jihadists are known to operate in the area.
dead bodies were brought this evening to Monguno and people have been going to
the police station to see if they could identify them,” Monguno resident Kulo
resident, Bunami Mukhtar, said the corpses had “bullet wounds.”
loggers were among thousands of people sheltering in camps in the town after
being displaced by the jihadists.
in the camps rely on food aid to eat but some turn to felling vegetation, in
order to sell to buy extra produce.
135 kilometers north of Maiduguri, the capital of Borno state, houses a
town has been repeatedly attacked by jihadists, who have made several failed
attempts to overrun the base.
Haram militants have also repeatedly targeted farmers, loggers and herders,
accusing them of passing information to the military and pro-government militia
farmers were killed in an attack by Boko Haram insurgents on March 19 in a
drive-by shooting as they worked on their farms outside Borno’s Askira town.
Haram’s decade-long conflict has killed more than 27,000 people and displaced
1.8 million others in the northeast.
Afghan Taliban and the United States are likely to begin a new round of talks
in Qatar today (Wednesday) to hold detailed discussions on withdrawal of
foreign troops and to stop terrorism from Afghan soil against other countries,
Daily Times has learnt.
spokesman Suhail Shaheen did not reply when a query was posted on WhatsApp for
confirmation. Zabihullah Mujahid, who reports about Taliban activities, did not
confirm, but said he was “making efforts to get information”. Taliban and US
negotiators in their last round of talks from February 25 to March 12 had
reported “progress” in the longest round, but failed to reach any agreement.pak
Taliban had stated earlier that “extensive and detailed discussions” had taken
place on two issues – withdrawal of all foreign forces from Afghanistan and
preventing anyone from harming others from Afghan soil – and how and when will
all foreign forces exit Afghanistan and through what method?
said both sides had also reviewed options as to how the United States and its
allies would be given assurances about post-withdrawal Afghanistan. The Taliban
and the US peace envoy Zalmay Khalilzad will be meeting for the first time
after the Taliban launched the spring offensive in April that marked beginning
of the fighting season.
had condemned the Taliban offensive “Al-Fatah” and had also urged Pakistan and
Qatar to condemn the Taliban decision.
People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Tuesday said that the
labourers’ rights remain the cornerstone of his party’s democratic ideology,
and that the Constitution of 1973 guarantees justified wages, personal security
and equal rights.
his message on the eve of Labour Day being commemorated today across the world,
he pledged that the PPP would continue to fight for the labourers’ rights until
the labour class “gets what the constitution has guaranteed” for them.
PPP chairman saluted Pakistani labourers who laid down their lives for the
rights of their class during the struggle for restoration and strengthening of
democracy, which “is still continuing”. However, they have achieved certain
targets during their struggle for the rights, mainly during the PPP
governments, he added.
said the working class of Pakistan was still being deprived of their due
rights, while those denying them their just rights and privileges were also at
work. “Hence, the incumbent government of Imran [Khan] Niazi and the collective
interests of the working and labour classes of Pakistan stand poles apart from
each other. The present Niazi government has deprived the poor and labourers of
bread after the prices of the commodities and utility items rocketed during the
past nine months of his misrule,” he pointed out.
said that the flawed policies of the present government had almost buried the
economy and such policies ruined the lives of the people across the board.
“Amid these devastating situations, only the PPP is capable of creating a
balance between the employers and the employees through fair and workable
policies and programmes,” he added. Bilawal reminded that PPP founder Zulfikar
Ali Bhutto had in his time pioneered the labour policy and trade unions’
rights, and again it was the PPP government that introduced “Benazir Employees
Stake Option Scheme” through which the employees benefitted from free shares in
their respective company. It is also a major breakthrough that the PPP’s
present provincial Sindh government has launched a tripartite labour policy, in
which a mechanism has been devised to facilitate both sides – the employees and
the employers. However, much is still needed to be done for the improvement in
the policies to resolve all pending issues,” he said.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Tuesday said Pakistan is making
sincere efforts for the success of the ongoing Afghan peace process and has
played its due role in the development of the country.
the seventh round of the Pakistan-Afghanistan Track-II Dialogue here, Qureshi
said peace in Afghanistan is imperative for regional connectivity, and the
Afghan people have to decide their future themselves.
foreign minister noted that he has visited different countries and also held
several meetings with US Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation
Zalmay Khalilzad for peace in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan to make a new beginning, Qureshi said Pakistan and Afghanistan have
a shared future.
has played its due role in the development of Afghanistan, pledging projects
worth one billion dollars, he added.
a number of examples in this regard, the minister said Afghanistan is a major
trading partner of Pakistan, and the two countries carry out trade through rail
50,000 Afghans have studied in Pakistani educational institutes and are now
working in the public and private sector in Afghanistan.
extended 6,000 fully-funded scholarships to Afghan students. To encourage
female education, we [allocated] 100 seats to female candidates from
Afghanistan,” he continued.
Pakistan and the United States have agreed to continue the engagement on the
Afghan peace process and strengthening bilateral ties, however Washington is
seemingly unconvinced with Pakistan’s narrative that India is using Afghan soil
to perpetrate terrorism in the country.
understanding was reached during an important meeting wherein Ambassador Zalmay
Khalilzad, US Secretary of State’s Special Representative for Afghanistan
Reconciliation and Ambassador Alice Wells, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary
for South and Central Asian Affairs, held delegation-level talks with Pakistani
officials at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs a day earlier.
per a handout issued by the Foreign Ministry, the two sides reviewed recent
developments regarding the Afghan peace process. It was underlined that this
was a historic opportunity to end the prolonged Afghan conflict for which all
local stakeholders, as well as Afghanistan’s neighbours, had an important role
reiterated its support for intra-Afghan dialogue, which is vital to move the
process forward. It was highlighted that the prospective agreement in
Afghanistan must contribute to bringing lasting peace and stability leading to
international cooperation and development in Afghanistan.”
delegation of Pakistan also emphasized the need for creating a conducive
environment in Afghanistan for early and dignified return of Afghan refugees to
their homeland, as per the FO’s statement.
two sides reviewed the state of engagement and cooperation between Pakistan and
the United States on a range of bilateral issues including political, economic
and consular matters, the statement added.
EVIDENCE AGAINST INDIA’
while interacting with journalists at the US Embassy, Alice Wells said that US
does not have the evidence of India using Afghan soil against Pakistan.
statement appears to suggest that the US is far from convinced with Pakistan’s
narrative on India.
has long been expressing its concerns regarding India using the Afghan soil to
create trouble and often presented the case of Indian spy Kulbushan Yadhav as
American diplomat, nevertheless, made it clear that US would never condone or
support any use of ‘terrorist proxies against another country’.
have been working very actively with Pakistan to combat whether it’s al Qaeda
or TTP. Any terrorist attacking Pakistan is enemy of ours and we share very
strong counter-terrorism objectives in defeating extremist forces,” Wells
her attention was drawn towards Pakistan’s concerns regarding India’s role in
creating trouble in Balochistan, she urged regional countries to respect each other’s
sovereignty without naming India.
recognise and respect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Pakistan. We
do not support any separatist movements,” she said, adding, “We think it’s
critical that nations of this region respect one another and work to achieve
peace and economic growth.”
also said the US had no information regarding Pakistan Army’s latest
allegations that Afghan and Indian secret agencies were funding the Pashtun
Tahafuz Movement (PTM).
said the US welcomed Prime Minister Imran’s public statements affirming his
resolve not to allow Pakistan’s soil to be used against any other country.
would positively note that many comments the prime minister has made in public
underscoring his government’s commitment to moving away from non-state actors
to ensuring that the national action plan that Pakistan has forged is
implemented,” she said.
said the steps the government had so far taken to implement the national action
plan were ‘positive.’
said under the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) action plan, Pakistan had to
take specific steps to deal with the terror financing. Ultimately, she said it
would not be the US but FATF that would determine the steps taken by Pakistan.
nevertheless added the US appreciated recent steps hoping that would continue
until the threat was eliminated.
the prospects of resumption of dialogue between Pakistan and India after the
polls are over in the neighbouring country, Wells apparently linked the
progress to Pakistan’s commitment of not allowing its territory to be used
said Pakistan needed to demonstrate its commitment to ensure that “violence is
prerogative of the state that the militant groups can’t take advantage of
asked to specify the US concerns regarding the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor
(CPEC), Wells said while Washington did not object to infrastructure investment
by China, the question remains whether such projects meet the international
argued that such investments should be transparent, sustainable and should
produce benefits for the country.
any concern that we have over CPEC projects is with regards to the
transparency, the efficacy and the sustainability of the loans,” she explained.
is an issue that is not Pakistan specific. We have expressed this concern about
belt and road initiative more broadly.
welcome the infrastructure investment by China and by all countries so far it
advances the prosperity of the countries involved,” she maintained.
UN political chief warned Monday that the worsening Palestinian financial
crisis poses a growing risk “of a financial collapse of the Palestinian
DiCarlo told the UN Security Council that “a sustainable resolution” to the
authority’s funding crisis is urgently needed.
is withholding about $11 million of the roughly $180 million a month in tax
funds that it collects for the Palestinians, claiming that money was being used
to support families of terrorists. The Palestinians, in protest, have refused
to accept any of the tax transfers.
so-called ‘withholding’ of Palestinian tax revenues is blatant theft, violating
bilateral agreements and the Geneva Convention prohibition on the pillaging of
the occupied people’s resources,” Riyad Mansour, the Palestinians’ ambassador
at the UN, told the council.
the funds, the Palestinian Authority has cut most workers’ salaries in half
since March, though salaries will be raised to 60 percent this month because of
the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The lowest paid employees who earn less than
$600 a month continue to get full pay, but most civil servants have higher
called on both sides to address the underlying causes of the financial crisis,
implement their bilateral agreements, and avoid actions that undermine security
and stability for both Palestinians and Israelis.
also urged the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, which coordinates development aid to
the Palestinians, to use its meeting Tuesday in Brussels to work with Israel
and the Palestinian Authority to resolve the crisis.
addition to the tax revenue, the Trump administration has cut hundreds of
millions of dollars in funding for the Palestinians.
month, the head of the UN agency that helps 5.3 million Palestinian refugees
called for equal generosity from donors who filled a $446 million hole in its
budget last year after the US drastically cut its contribution.
Krahenbuhl said donors funded the UN Relief and Works Agency’s $1.2 billion
budget for 2018 after the US reduced its $360 million contribution in 2017 to
just $60 million.
said the UN agency also adopted a $1.2 billion budget for 2019, and this year
it is getting nothing from the United States.
President Donald Trump said in January 2018 that the Palestinians must return
to peace talks to receive US aid money.
‘proud’ to have recognized Palestine, will continue to support it: Foreign
Foreign Minister Margot Wallström says her country is proud to have officially
recognized the state of Palestine, and will continue to support it.
am proud of the decision of Sweden's government, which recognized Palestine as
an independent state in 2014,” Wallström told Swedish national public
television broadcaster Sveriges Television AB (SVT) on Monday.
added that many countries followed suit after Sweden became the first European
Union member in Western Europe to recognize a Palestinian state.
shows that we recognized Palestine at the right time. We will continue to
support Palestine,” Wallström added.
top Swedish diplomat then made a reference to the Israeli regime’s criticism of
Sweden’s Palestine policy, stating that negotiations are underway between
Stockholm and Tel Aviv to resolve diplomatic tensions.
October 30, 2014, the Swedish government formally recognized Palestine as a
state, less than a month after Prime Minister Stefan Löfven announced his
intention to make the move.
then told reporters that the territory has fulfilled the "criteria of
international law," adding that Palestine had both "a territory, a
people and government."
also expressed hope that Sweden's move would provide a "positive injection
into the dynamics of the Middle East peace process."
highlighted that recognition of Palestine would make the country more equal
while participating in the so-called peace negotiations with Israel
President Mahmoud Abbas later hailed Sweden's "brave and historic"
Israeli Foreign Ministry has called in the French ambassador to the occupied
territories to protest comments made by Paris’ outgoing envoy to the United
States after he said the Tel Aviv regime’s occupation of the West Bank amounts
ministry’s spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon said in a statement on Tuesday that
Hélène le Gal had been summoned for “a verbal reprimand” over comments made
earlier in the week by Gérard Araud in which he declared Israel an “apartheid
firmly protested the remark,” Nahshon said.
an April 19 interview with The Atlantic magazine, Araud said Israel was
“extremely comfortable” with the status quo “because they [can] have the cake
and eat it. They have the West Bank, but at the same time they don’t have to
make the painful decision about the Palestinians, really making them really,
totally stateless or making them citizens of Israel.”
won’t make them citizens of Israel. So they will have to make it official,
which is we know the situation, which is an apartheid. There will be officially
an apartheid state. They are in fact already,” the outgoing French ambassador
to the United States noted.
also pointed to the US President Donald Trump’s controversial proposal for
peace between the Israelis and Palestinians, dubbed “the deal of the century,”
stressing that the plan will be “very close to what the Israelis want,” and is
99 percent “doomed to fail.”
French diplomat went on to say that Trump’s son-in-law and adviser Jared
Kushner “doesn’t know the history” of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,”
noting, “He may neglect the point that if you offer the Palestinians the choice
between surrendering and committing suicide, they may decide the latter. Somebody
like Kushner doesn’t understand that.”
so-called “peace plan” has been dismissed by Palestinian authorities ahead of
its unveiling at the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan and the formation
of the new Israeli cabinet, most likely in June.
in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah on April 16, Palestinian Prime
Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh lashed out at Trump’s initiative, asserting that it
was “born dead.”
Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan called
for a ceasefire in Libya and renewal of a political process under the aegis of
the United Nations during a phone call on Tuesday, the Kremlin said in a
also underscored further close coordination between Russia and Turkey aimed at
“normalization” in Syria's Idlib province and agreed on “efficient” measures
against militants there, the Kremlin said.
Germany supports territorial integrity of Iraq
Angela Merkel has reaffirmed Germany’s support for the territorial integrity of
Iraq and pledged closer political and economic ties between the two countries.
at a joint news conference with visiting Iraqi Prime Minister Adil Abdul-Mahdi
in Berlin, Merkel praised the government’s efforts to preserve the unity of
have once again clearly expressed our support for the territorial integrity of
Iraq,” she stressed.
have very intensive relations with the regional government in Erbil, but always
as an integral part of Iraq, and we will continue to follow this approach,” she
said Germany was interested in further strengthening cooperation with Iraq in
the fields of economy, energy and security, and pledged continued support for
the reconstruction efforts in Iraq after years of fighting with the Daesh
Merkel’s meeting with Abdul-Mahdi at the Chancellery, German technology giant
Siemens and Iraq’s Minister of Electricity Luay al-Khateeb signed a memorandum
of understanding on upgrading Iraq's electricity infrastructure.
told reporters that Iraq’s plan to upgrade its electricity infrastructure would
consist of four stages, with various projects worth around $14 billion (€ 12.5
Iraqi premier said Siemens has had good chances of winning majority of the
says Idlib not to be ‘safe zone’ for terrorists
will not allow the de-escalation zone in Syria’s Idlib to be a “safe zone” for
terrorists, presidential envoy for Syria said on Monday.
one is interested in it. The fight against terrorists will no doubt continue,
but this will require additional time. We still work on it, and want to
stabilize the situation,” Alexandre Lavrentyev told Russia’s state-run news
agency TASS in an interview.
this stage, Russia also opposes any large-scale military operation in the
region, Lavrentyev said, citing numerous civilians who can be used as human
shields by the militants.
will think (about how to solve the problem). It may be necessary to use the
capabilities of our aerospace forces or international forces. The problem will
have to be solved sooner or later," he said.
September 2018, Turkey and Russia agreed to turn Idlib into a de-militarized
zone after a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his
counterpart Vladimir Putin in Russia's coastal city of Sochi.
and Moscow signed a memorandum of understanding calling for the stabilization
of the situation in Idlib's de-escalation zone, in which acts of aggression are
has been locked in a vicious civil war since early 2011, when the Bashar
al-Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protests with unexpected
then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million
others displaced, according to UN officials.
the invitation of Iraq and Lebanon to join the Astana format as observers,
Lavrentyev said they were invited to the next round of talks since being
neighbors of Syria.
were many applications, but so far "they do not fit" to the format
"for some reasons", he added.
to the diplomat, it is possible to organize meetings in the Kazakh capital Nur
Sultan in quadrilateral format with the participation of Syria, Iraq, Lebanon
and Jordan, which along with the UN, has the observer status from the very
beginning of the Astana format, to solve the existing problems.
went on saying that despite of "softer rhetoric" from Riyadh, London,
Paris and Washington, the position of these countries regarding the fate of
Assad has not changed, and they still stand for his resignation.
Astana format does not have consultations with the Western countries following
its meetings, but brief in the bilateral contacts, and they inform the Astana
countries of the decisions within a "small group".
British Muslims led by Imam Mohamed Mahmoud including dozens of school children
from all faith visited the New Zealand High Commissioner to give their
condolences in the aftermath of the Christchurch terrorist attack last month.
visit included a minute silence, presentations of flowers and reading of the
names of all the young people who were killed in two mosques during Friday
prayers in Christchurch, in a well-planned mass shooting by a white supremacist
attack, which sent shockwaves throughout the Muslim world, brought widespread
condemnation from a variety of UK faith and political leaders.
a private meeting with the New Zealand High Commissioner Imam Mahmoud said:
“After visiting the victims and survivors of the terrorist attack in
Christchurch, I was overcome by the dignity and patience with which they
conducted themselves in the aftermath. I was also impressed with the manner in
which the New Zealand government and officials responded - deciding to further
embrace their Muslim community, and not letting division and hatred win.”
visit organised by Naz Legacy Foundation follows from their interfaith event
with the Chief Rabbi and the Archbishop of Canterbury held at the Regent Park
Mosque’s Islamic Cultural Centre just two days following the attack. They were
joined by over 250 leading faith and civil society leaders as well the Home
Secretary Sajid Javid and Communities Secretary James Brokenshire who both
reiterated the government’s support for the British Muslim community, and
security funding for mosques across the country. Speaking to The News, Harris
Bokhari organiser of the visit and event said that memorial served as a
“message to the terrorist who sought to sow division in society and spread fear
that he has failed; as that unites us is far greater than what divides.”
vigil and event was not the first of its kind orchestrated by Bokhari who is
one of UK's leading grassroots experts in Countering Violent Extremism (CVE).
He has in the past brought together politicians and faith leaders to unite
British communities after attacks, most notably Nick Clegg the then Deputy
Prime Minister in 2013 following the tragic murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in
organised the Woolwich interfaith event following the attack with the former
Deputy Prime Minister, who cited verse 32 chapter 5 of the Quran, which says:
"If anyone kills a human being it shall be as though he killed all mankind
whereas if anyone saves a life it shall be as though he saved the whole of
Zealand police arrested a man in Christchurch on Tuesday following reports of a
possible bomb threat in the city, where 50 people were killed in attacks by a
lone gunman on two mosques in March.
cordoned off streets in the Phillipstown area of the city on New Zealand's
South Island, with a bomb disposal team, ambulance and fire and emergency crews
sent to the scene, according to a police statement.
33-year-old man has been arrested and is currently speaking to police in
regards to the incident,” the statement said.
no-fly zone was also established, it said.
further details were available about the nature of the incident but New Zealand
media reported there had been a potential bomb threat.
New Zealand Herald said police were called due to “threats about an explosive
spokesman for the St John Ambulance service said an ambulance was on standby at
the request of police but had not treated any patients.
people were killed and dozens wounded in attacks on the Al Noor and Linwood
mosques during Friday prayers in Christchurch on March 15, the worst peace-time
shooting in New Zealand history.
have charged Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist,
with 50 counts of murder.
leaders of Tunisia and Italy called for a cease-fire in Libya amid recent
clashes south of Tripoli.
Prime Minister Youssef Chahed, in a joint news conference in Tunis, stressed
his government’s “clear” stance on the necessity of a cease-fire, affirming
Tunisia’s eagerness to push the diplomatic track, and urged Libyans to sit at
the dialogue table.
has been affected by the conflict in Libya since 2011, and there is fear of
infiltration of terrorist elements across its border with Libya, which exceeds
500 kilometers (310 miles)," said Chahed.
leader Giuseppe Conte arrived in Tunisia earlier in the day and affirmed the
need to give a political settlement a chance, stressing “there is no room for a
military solution -- a political process is needed in Libya."
Haftar, commander of forces based in eastern Libya, launched a military
offensive in early April to capture Tripoli from the UN-recognized Government
of National Accord (GNA).
forces re-captured the El-Sbeaa region south of Tripoli from Haftar forces
Tuesday, a military source told Anadolu Agency.
has remained beset by turmoil since long-serving ruler Muammar Gaddafi was
ousted and killed in a bloody NATO-backed uprising in 2011.
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