Shiite members wounded in the clash.(Photo: Islamic Movement of Nigeria)
Shiites - Govt, Please Let's Not Breed Another Boko Haram
in five Americans say Islam 'is incompatible with US values'
for India or convert to Islam’:
Sikhs weigh future after IS terror
trolls stoked UK hatred of Islam after terrorist attacksh
militant attacks up overall, but ISIS incidents down in Africa
is Abdullah al-Darsi the new Libyan intelligence chief?
Haram militants kill 16 in raids on villages in northeast Nigeria
Ahmadiyya Seeks Unity Among Humanity
convicted of plotting to bomb Muslim refugees blame Trump rhetoric and Russian
Human Rights Commission seeks to appeal Muslim school prayer spat at Supreme
US losing ground to militants in Afghanistan despite long occupation
onslaught on Riyadh over Khashoggi's murder threatens US ties: Saudi prince
urges return of Khashoggi's remains to family
media covers Turkey's Khashoggi statement
midterm results could constrain Trump’s Middle East agenda
of Jamal Khashoggi is like killing all of humanity says former Saudi ambassador
more likely to view Muslim Americans negatively, study finds
for India or convert to Islam’: Afghanistan’s Sikhs weigh future after IS terror attack
Azhar confirms death of nephew in Kashmir
gun down BJP's J&K unit secy, brother in Jammu
extremists, radicals biggest threats, says former Jammu and Kashmir governor NN
terror module busted in Patiala; arrested man ‘planned attack during festive
youth are fleeing this UP village after police book 200 under terror law
not in India, will Ram temple be built in Pakistan?’
takes over probe into plot to kill HMK founder
impossible to renegotiate nuclear deal: Iran’s UK
'hand in glove' with Saudi Arabia’s 'despicable regime': Academic
Israeli attacks on Syria deepen crisis with Russia: Report
asks Europe to cooperate with Iran to counter US unilateralism
scolds Europe as Polish delegation visits Syria
‘Daesh mothers’ held in Syria face terrible choice
hardening line on Saudi Arabia and Khashoggi
politicians are emboldening the nation's Islamophobes
radicals defy Imran, choke Pakistan over blasphemy acquittal
Rizvi says he will continue his ‘peaceful struggle’
Khan gives stern warning to Islamists
Khan lands in Beijing on four-day visit, to hold talks with Xi Jinping
ISPR says army has nothing to do with Asia case, urges protesters to take legal
says Aasia won’t be safe in Pakistan
of appointing new US envoy begins’
of Sheikh Hasina imperative for counter-terror narrative in South Asia
Jamaat ameer arrested over sabotage case
PM to have unprecedented talks with opposition before poll
realizes they cannot win militarily’, says Gen. Miller
among 68 militants killed, wounded in Afghan, U.S. forces operations
officials blast Bangladesh-Myanmar deal on Rohingya
govt. control over country has slipped: US group
rapidly expanding internment camps for Muslims, report says
State finds safe haven in the Philippines
makes last regional peace effort in Southern Thailand
groups that continue to target the Philippines and its ASEAN neighbors
Provocative Acts in Demilitarized Zone Continue despite Turkey's Threats
Authorities Detain Daughter of Senior Muslim Brotherhood Leader
Kurdish Forces' Commander Defects
Arms Found at ISIL Bases in Deir Ezzur
Attack SDF Positions in Raqqa as Tensions Hike
Forces Stop Operations in Deir Ezzur after US Backtracks, Turkey Intensifies
Sends Military Convoy to Kurdish-Occupied Regions in Hasaka amid Turkey's
Militants Plundering Natural Resources, Artifacts in Afrin
Army Repulses Terrorists' Heavy Offensive in Demilitarized Zone
Daily: US Sends Arms to ISIL in Return for Syria's Artifacts
Forces Killed in Tensions with Turkey at Syrian Borders
News about Khashoggi’s death inflated by political machinations
kill four regime fighters in Syria’s Idlib
says Lebanon gov’t row ‘not easy’, signals differences with Hezbollah
to smuggle fugitives wanted for terrorism charges foiled in Bahrain
delegation in Riyadh as Netanyahu asks US to back MBS
says Nusra terrorists seek to wreck buffer zone deal in Syria’s Idlib
Salahuddin provincial governor survives assassination attempt
Erdogan discuss Syria in phone call
protest leaders want calmer Friday demo amid truce talks
and Erdogan discuss northern Syria, says Turkish presidency
Coalition destroys Houthi ballistic missile sites in Sanaa
government welcomes efforts to establish peace
to approve plan to build new settlement in al-Khalil
wants Saudi Arabia to disclose whereabouts of Khashoggi's body: Justice
false flags only encourage Iran to boost ties with world: Zarif
by New Age Islam News Bureau
Samiul Haq assassinated at Rawalpindi residence
of his own faction of the Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam, Maulana Samiul Haq has been
assassinated at his residence in Rawalpindi, his son has confirmed.
Haq, the son of the JUI-S chief, said his father was stabbed to death while he
was resting in his room. Maulana Sami was a heart patient, Hamid said.
driver Haqqani had gone out. On his return, he saw that Maulana Sami was lying
in his bed in a pool of bed. He was no longer alive," Hamid said.
was the head of the Darul Uloom Haqqania seminary in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa's Akora
body is being shifted to District Headquarters Hospital, TV reports said.
news of his death comes at a sensitive time, with religio-political parties out
on the streets protesting the Supreme Court's acquittal of Asia Bibi, a
Christian woman, in a blasphemy case.
had been aligned with the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf for the July 25
Minister Imran Khan's party had sought to work closely with him to implement
various reforms and mainstream madrassah education.
is a developing story that is being updated as the situation evolves. Initial
reports in the media can sometimes be inaccurate. We will strive to ensure
timeliness and accuracy by relying on credible sources such as concerned,
qualified authorities and our staff reporters.
federal capital territory was under siege during the week. Members of the
Islamic Movement in Nigeria were everywhere observing their annual walk and at
the same time protesting the continued detention of their leader, Ibrahim
El-Zakky. As usual, the walk turned violent when they ran into a military
convoy along Zuba road.
on the side you choose to believe, the military said the members were trying to
steal their weapons, while the shitte members claim the military started the
which is regarded as one of the safest cities in Nigeria was held hostage in
the last few days by the shitte members. The high handedness of our security
agencies towards the protesters is bearing an uncanny semblance to the way our
security forces handled the leader of the Boko Haram sect, Mohammed Yusuf.
I saw the military using live bullets, I knew we are heading for serious
trouble in this country.
you recall, the Boko Haram sect was a little known group in the North East
preaching their own brand of Islam. The extra judicial killing of Mohammed
Yusuf led to radicalise action of the group. What's the end result of that -the
economy of the North has been dragged back to the stone ages. We have lost over
a 100, 000 persons to insurgency, schools and hospitals destroyed and millions
displaced from their homes.
security forces are following the same path with the Shittes group. It's like
they are not trained to handle protests. What happened to rubber bullets, hot
water sprays and tear gas to disperse unruly protesters? We need to do away
with always inviting the military to quell civil unrest; that's the primary
duty of the police. The country is so militarised that the Armed Forces are
carrying out operations in almost every state in the country.
the same time, the Shitte group should stop attacking our security forces, as
that is an invitation to anarchy. Nobody has the right to attack or try to
disarm a soldier or policeman. The resort to self-help by the group will only
aggravate the situation.
have also been contending on this page that the federal government should
release el-Zakzaky. Since the court had previously granted him bail, he should
just be released. President Muhammadu Buhari's assertion that national security
should take precedence over the rule of law does not conform here.
government should release him on bail immediately and let his trial run its
course. The continuous detention of the Shitte leader is radicalising the group
the more. They will continue to protest and more lives will be lost and at the
end of the day, we will not achieve anything. If he dies in detention, we will
have another Boko Haram in our arms. We cannot afford another insurgent group
Riots: Not Again
Afenifere's Suspension Of Omisore
Tuesday, the pan-Yoruba socio-political organisation, Afenifere, announced the
suspension of the candidate of the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in the last
governorship election in Osun State and member of the group, Senator Iyiola
Omisore, for one year.
was alleged to have aligned with the All Progressives Congress (APC) to win the
run-off election in the Ife South and North local government areas of Osun
State. His action was said to have gone against the position of his party, the
Social Democratic Party, and the Afenifere.
I read the suspension, I had a good laugh. I thought Afenifere was a pan Yoruba
group whose mandate is to protect the Yoruba race. The group openly aligning
with another party is a recipe for disaster. There are Yoruba people playing
prominent roles in all the political parties. Acting as if it is a branch of
the PDP is not good for the image of the organisation. The group should know
that all Nigerian politicians put their interest first before national
interest. You will not blame Omisore for going to where his bread will be
DC - A large proportion of non-Muslim Americans think Islam is incompatible
with American values, research by the New America foundation and the American
Muslim Initiative found.
to the findings announced on Thursday, 56 percent of Americans believed Islam
was compatible with American values and 42 percent said it was not. About 60
percent believed US Muslims were as patriotic as others, while 38 percent they
study said that although a big majority of Americans - 74 percent - accepted
there was "a lot" of bigotry against Muslims existed, 56 percent said
they were concerned about extremism spreading within the Muslim community.
found that Republicans were more likely to hold negative perceptions of Muslims
and Islam, with 71 percent saying Islam was incompatible with American values.
About 56 percent of Republicans also admitted they would be concerned if a
mosque was built in their neighbourhood.
slight majority of Republicans disagreed with the statement that having more
than 100 Muslim candidates in the midterm elections was a positive thing.
McKenzie, a senior fellow at the New America foundation and one of the authors
of the study, said there were a number of factors that contributed the shaping
of anti-Muslim sentiment, and that they were not limited to the political
Clinton, when talking about violent extremism talked about Muslims being on the
frontlines, what does that say about Muslim communities?" He said, adding:
"I know she didn't mean that in a derogatory way but if Muslims are at the
frontlines, what does that suggest is happening at the local level in the
survey also found that just below half of Americans actually knew a Muslim.
McKenzie cautioned, however, against correlating knowing a Muslim personally
with a more positive perspective on Muslims.
Ahmed, an American Muslim media relations specialist, told Al Jazeera rising Islamophobia
had consequences beyond the Muslim community.
think Islamophobia is not just a Muslim problem but an American problem, so it
needs to be addressed by all sectors of society," she said.
argued that Muslims could not afford to not engage with other communities, and
had a duty to "plug information gaps" to dispel negative ideas about
she also said politicians, segments of the media, and religious leaders from
other communities had played a role in stoking anti-Muslim bigotry.
of Muslims comes from the acts of extremists (and) it comes from the
Islamophobia industry, a very well connected, very well funded industry, which
makes it their mission to try to marginalise and disenfranchise American
as Muslims have a responsibility to lean in, other faith based communities also
need to lean in. So when they see their priest preaching divisive rhetoric
about Islam, they need to stop that."
New America foundation report comes amid a notable rise in anti-Muslim rhetoric
in US political discourse and within the media.
month, a report by Muslim Advocates found 80 instances of "clear
anti-Muslim rhetoric" by candidates running for political office.
included unfounded claims that Muslims were plotting to establish Islamic law
in the US.
President Donald Trump also used anti-Islam rhetoric in his election campaign,
and has introduced executive orders targeting Muslims, such as his infamous ban
on Muslims from several predominantly Muslim countries entering the US.
Arain from the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) said people with
anti-Muslim views were found at the very highest levels of government.
are people who were formerly part of the Trump administration, who are well
known anti-Muslim bigots," she said, adding: "You have people who are
currently in the administration, who are closely connected to the established
anti-Muslim hate groups."
anti-Muslim bigotry also comes amid a rise in hatred targeting other religious
and ethnic minorities.
the last week, there has been a spate of far-right violence in the US, with a
foiled pipe bomb campaign targeting anti-Trump politicians and media outlets, a
racially motivated shooting of two African-Americans in Kentucky, and the mass
killing of 11 Jewish worshippers at a synagogue in Pittsburgh.
Ruby of the Greater Washington Muslim-Jewish Forum said that while anti-Muslim
bigotry and anti-Semitism were unique in their characteristics and causes,
there were some shared reasons for their recent rise.
people who hate Muslims, hate Jews as well," he said, adding: "I
absolutely think the rhetoric that's come from President Trump and others has
don't want to entirely blame Trump but this movement of hate has coalesced
around him, which he certainly helped orchestrate.
become a very dangerous situation."
for India or convert to Islam: Afghanistans Sikhs weigh future after
among Afghanistan’s dwindling Sikh minority are considering leaving for
neighbouring India, after a suicide bombing in the eastern city of Jalalabad on
Sunday killed at least 13 members of the community.
victims of the attack claimed by militant group Islamic State included Avtar
Singh Khalsa, the only Sikh candidate in parliamentary elections this October,
and Rawail Singh, a prominent community activist.
am clear that we cannot live here anymore,” said Tejvir Singh, 35, whose uncle was killed in the blast.
religious practices will not be tolerated by the Islamic terrorists. We are
Afghans. The government recognises us, but terrorists target us because we are
not Muslims,” added Singh, the secretary of a national
panel of Hindus
Sikh community now numbers fewer than 300 families in Afghanistan, which has
only two gurdwaras, or places of worship, one each in Jalalabad and Kabul, the
capital, Singh added.
almost entirely a Muslim country, Afghanistan was home to as many as 250,000
Sikhs and Hindus before a devastating civil war in the 1990s.
a decade ago, the US State Department said in a report, about 3,000 Sikhs and
Hindus still lived there.
official political representation and freedom of worship, many face prejudice
and harassment as well as violence from militant Islamist groups, prompting
thousands to move to India, their spiritual homeland.
the Jalalabad attack, some Sikhs have sought shelter at the city’s
are left with two choices: to leave for India or to convert to Islam,”
said Baldev Singh, who owns a book- and textile shop in Jalalabad.
has issued long-term visas to members of Afghanistan’s
Sikh and Hindu communities.
can all live in India without any limitation,” said Vinay
Kumar, India’s ambassador to Afghanistan. “The final call has to be taken by
them. We are here to assist them.”
who was in the Indian capital, New Delhi, to discuss the security situation,
said the government was helping organise the last rites of Sikhs killed in the
are not leaving’
other Sikhs, with land or businesses and no ties to India, say they do not plan
to leave, as Afghanistan remains their country. India has offered to take the
dead bodies, but at least nine were cremated according to Sikh rites in
are not cowards,” said Sandeep Singh, a Sikh shopkeeper in
Kabul. “Afghanistan is our country and we are not leaving anywhere.”
attack targeted “Afghanistan’s multicultural fabric”, Indian
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Monday. He is expected to hold a meeting
to discuss the security threats to Indian and religious minorities.
a longstanding ally of Afghanistan, has invested in several large development
projects, but heightened security risks have prompted its companies to cut back
two countries’ officials have not been able to free
seven Indian engineers kidnapped in May in the northern province of Baghlan.
Islamophobia and provoking religious divisions were the main focus of Russian
Twitter accounts targeting the UK, research has found.
internet trolls came to the fore in 2017 when three separate terror attacks hit
the UK, with posts on Islam retweeted 25 times more often than other previous
Twitter released the data of 3,841 accounts linked to the St Petersburg-based
Internet Research Agency in October, initial investigations found a significant
amount of pro-Leave Brexit-related messages.
further studies by the Demos think-tank in London of 83,000 UK-related tweets
has shown that posts about Islam gained greater traction online.
say Russia's actions were part of a ploy to sow discord in the west.
most visible account, @TEN_GOP, shared 109 tweets related to the UK, 60 per
cent of which talked about Islam.
was a Twitter account falsely claiming to be run by the US Republican party in
Tennessee, but in fact operated by a Russian state operative, according to
our estimation, the ‘big guns’ focused on Islam more,” it
said. Overall, in the top ten most noticeable accounts, 43.9 percent of their
428 Tweets were related to Islam.
was measured by multiplying the number of tweets the account sent by the number
of retweets those messages received on average.
operations captured in this data show attempts to falsely amplify other news
sources and to take part in conversations around Islam, and rarely show
attempts to spread ‘fake news’ or influence at an electoral level,”
the paper said.
NO-GO areas in BRITAIN. Citizens blocked from their own suburbs. Only #Trump
can stop this here!” said one post, which was retweeted 319
times. Others, also widely shared, accused Muslim refugees of being behind sexual assaults and acid
is the first victim of Islamization! Will America be the next? #WorldRefugeeDay
#NeverHillary,” said another. The prevalence of messages
supportive of Donald Trump were part of a wider trend among the 9 million tweets posted by the Russian
trolls. In contrast, London’s mayor Sadiq Khan, a Muslim, came under
fierce attack from the Russian trolls as the UK was hit by a trio of
devastating terror attacks in mid-2017. He was accused of sympathising with
one tweet aimed at Mr Khan being shared nearly 14,000 times.
the Westminster attack in March last year, 815 messages related to Islam and
the UK were sent and retweeted 32,501 times.
May, following the Manchester bombing, 156 tweets went out and were shared
5,674 times. Only a couple of weeks later after the London Bridge stabbings,
445 tweets were posted by the Russian accounts with 60,324 retweets.
more dead in London because of climate change. Oh wait, nope, it's Islamic
terrorism again. #LondonAttacks,” said one tweet shared nearly 3000 times.
is unclear why the accounts were less active during the Manchester bombing,
despite significantly more casualties.
the state-operated accounts were active from 2011, they focused on topics such
as fitness until about 2016 when they had built up enough followers, the report
gained a degree of visibility after the Brexit vote but the scale of Russian
troll operations hit a peak after the 2017 attacks, researchers found.
Germany — Attacks by Islamic militants in Africa increased slightly in 2017,
with violent incidents from groups in western Africa spiking and Islamic State
actions waning, according to a new report.
Africa’s Sahel region — a swath of territory that includes several
western African countries in the greater
Sahara — violent events linked to militant Islamist groups tripled
during the past 12 months, according to a report by the Africa Center for
center, a U.S. Defense Department-affiliated think tank that tracks attacks in
Africa, reported 377 violent episodes in the Sahel and 895 fatalities during a
12-month period that ended Sept. 30. Most of the incidents were concentrated in
of violent events linked to an array of militant Islamist groups in the Sahel
highlights the growing scope of security challenges facing this region,”
the report said.
U.S. military is building a new drone base in Niger to better monitor militant
groups and U.S. troops also serve as advisers to local forces in the region.
The dangers were brought into focus when four American soldiers were killed in
an October 2017 ambush by Islamic militants near Niger’s
border with Mali.
overall escalation in the Sahel was attributed to a coalition of militant
groups operating under the Jama’at Nusrat al Islam wal Muslimin, a newly formed
al-Qaida-linked umbrella organization, the ACSS report said.
organization in the Sahel — Abu Walid al Sahrawi’s Islamic State in
the Greater Sahara — was linked to roughly a quarter of all violent events involving militant Islamist groups
in the Sahel in the past year. There also are signs of collaboration between
the Al-Qaida and ISIS affiliates, the report said.
Africa, there were 2,919 violent events linked to Islamist groups during the
past 12 months, compared to 2,767 from the previous year.
ISIS-linked attacks declined by 17 percent overall in Africa with 281 violent
events and 1,371 fatalities. ISIS’s main area of operation in Africa is in
Egypt, with more than 80 percent of attacks occurring in that country’s
Sinai Peninsula, the report said.
has sought to establish a foothold in Africa during the past few years and has
attracted the U.S. military’s attention in the process. In 2016, ISIS
fighters were in control of Libya’s coastal
city of Sirte, but an offensive by Libyan forces backed by U.S. air power
dislodged the group. U.S. Africa Command conducted about 500 strikes during the
four-month campaign in Libya.
still carries out occasional strikes in Libya, but the main American military
effort in Africa now is centered in Somalia, home to Africa’s
most active militant group, al-Shabab.
was linked to 1,562 violent events over the past 12 months, roughly equivalent
to the number of incidents reported over the previous year, ACSS reported.
represents 54 percent of the total reported violent events associated with
militant Islamist groups in Africa,” the report said.
October bombing in Somalia’s capital of Mogadishu, which killed
about 600 people, was responsible for most of the Shabab-linked civilian
the past two years, AFRICOM has ratcheted up the pressure on al-Shabab,
conducting regular airstrikes against the group.
special operations forces operate as front-line advisors to Somali troops
involved in the fight against the militants.
chairman of the Presidential Council of Libya and Prime Minister of the
Government of National Accord, Fayez al-Sarraj, named Abdullah al-Darsi as the
new Libyan intelligence chief, replacing Abdul Qader al-Tuhami.
designation of Darsi indicates a new close relationship between Saraj and the
parliament, which had suggested Darsi for the position back in 2015, after it
had sacked Salem al-Hassi who is considered part of the Libyan Islamic Fighting
who is originally from eastern Libya and is known to lean towards the
parliament’s rule, was a representative for the
interior ministry in the temporary government, before he was dismissed from that position in 2013,
only to be elected for the same position the following year, after forming the
was also part of the political scene by being the head of a party known as “Reform
was also involved in the National Transitional Council during the revolution
that overthrew the late colonel Muammar Gaddafi in 2011.
least 16 civilians have been killed and several others injured after suspected
Boko Haram terrorists staged multiple attacks on villages in northeastern
in seven trucks attacked Bulaburin and Kofa villages as well as a camp in a
village outside the Borno state capital of Maiduguri late on Wednesday,
residents said Thursday.
terrorists attacked and completely burnt Bulaburin and Kofa villages and burnt
half the Dalori two IDP (internally displaced persons) camp," said militia
leader Babakura Kolo.
the village of Kofa, local residents counted five bodies burned inside the
remains of their house.
village chief in nearby Dalori said one person had been killed. Two residents
of Bulaburin said nine people had died there.
military said in a statement one civilian was found dead after militants had
ransacked Dalori's market, setting buildings ablaze and fleeing when soldiers
which is about 15 kilometers from Maiduguri, houses about 50,000 people in
January 2016, at least 85 people were killed when militants stormed and torched
the Dalori village and tried to gain access to the camps.
the Nigerian government's statements since late 2015 that Boko Haram had
largely been defeated, militants are still able to attack throughout much of
recent months, Boko Haram has carried out major attacks on military targets,
President Muhammadu Buhari, a former general, came to power in 2015 on a platform
to stamp out the Boko Haram militancy, but the militants continue to stage
attacks targeting both civilians and military targets.
2009, the Boko Haram militancy has left at least 20,000 dead and made over 2.6
million others homeless.
United Nations warned late last year that areas affected by the Boko Haram
militancy face a humanitarian crisis.
World Head of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, Hazrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad has
inaugurated a new mosque the 'Baitul Aafiyat' (House of Security) Mosque in
Philadelphia, United States of America (USA) This was part of his activities
for the tour of the country.
said the mosque, "would prove a beacon of light and hope to all
peace-loving people" The inauguration of the Mosque, which is the first
purpose-built mosque in Philadelphia, was attended by over 175 dignitaries and
guests attended the evening reception held in the new mosque.
highlight of the event was the keynote address delivered by the group head
during which he spoke of the true objectives of mosques and stated that freedom
of belief is a core tenet of Islamic teachings.
his address, Ahmad emphasised the importance of fostering unity and tolerance
of differences of race, religion or social background, we are united as human
beings and so it is vital that we interact with other people, rather than
isolating ourselves or only mingling with members of our own particular
community. For the advancement and evolution of society, and to foster an
atmosphere of peace and togetherness, respectful discourse and discussion
between people and amongst different communities is vital", he said.
added: "It is frequently alleged that Muslims do not respect other
religions or their religious figures, nothing could be further from the truth.
We firmly believe in the truth of all the prophets and believe they were sent
to draw mankind towards God Almighty and to teach morality and to establish
universal human values such as freedom of conscience, justice and human
sympathy. Given this, how could it be possible for us to disrespect or
dishonour other religions or their followers? Hence, we Ahmadi Muslims are
sincere in our claim that we do not hate anyone."
said that the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was ever ready to extend a hand of
friendship to others.
cited the example of Ahmadi Muslims living in Philadelphia who immediately
offered their support to members of the Jewish community following an attack at
a nearby Jewish cemetery.
seek no reward or gratitude for such things because we are merely following
what our religion has taught us, which is to stand shoulder to shoulder with
the people of other faiths and beliefs in their times of need or distress. We
champion the right of all people to live their lives free from discrimination.
and broad-mindedness", having always been core tenets of Islam and
referred to the government and covenant established by the Holy Prophet
Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) in the religiously diverse city of
Medina where everyone was able to freely practice their faith.
individual should have the right to choose whatever path he or she wishes to
walk upon. Belief is, and should always remain, a matter for one's heart and
one's mind. At the same time, Islam teaches that, irrespective of differences
of religion or belief, every citizen has a duty to remain peaceful and to
ensure that he or she does not take any action that threatens the well-being of
explaining the true objective of mosques, he said that the primary objective is
for Muslims to join together and worship the One God. He added that a Mosque's
major objective is to function as "a centre for serving mankind.
Mosques increase our determination to spread peace and to cultivate bonds of
brotherhood and mutual affection with people from all walks of life and to
eliminate all forms of hatred, bigotry and division from society.
men are blaming Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric and Russian
propaganda for inspiring a
plot to kill Somali refugees in Kansas.
men, Patrick Stein, Curtis Allen and Gavin Wright, who referred to themselves
as “The Crusaders,” planned to bomb an apartment complex housing
many Muslim Somali refugees and its mosque about two years ago.
FBI thwarted their plot after an eight month investigation. The men were
arrested in October 2016. In April, the federal jury found them guilty, thus
convicting them of one count of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction
and one count of conspiracy against
civil rights. They face a maximum life sentence in prison.
attorneys are now fighting for a lighter sentence by asking the US District
Court in Kansas to consider the “backdrop” to the bomb plot: President
court cannot ignore the circumstances of one of the most rhetorically
mould-breaking, violent, awful, hateful and contentious presidential elections
in modern history, driven in large measure by the rhetorical China shop bull
who is now our president,” the sentencing memo read. “Trump’s
brand of rough-and-tumble verbal pummelling heightened the rhetorical stakes
for people of all political persuasions.”
attorneys cited a Pew Research Centre study that revealed Mr Trump’s
presidential win resulted in an exponential increase of anti-Muslim violence. They also referred to
several of the president’s tweets, including one where Mr Trump –
void of any evidence – claimed the migrant caravan marching towards the US
contained “criminals” and “unknown Middle Easterners”.
long as the White House with impunity calls Islam ‘a
dangerous threat’, and paints average Americans as ‘victims of horrendous attacks
by people that believe only in Jihad,’ a mixed signal gets sent,” the memo
White House did not respond to The Independent’s request for
attorneys argued that although Mr Trump is a “speaker with
the best bully pulpit in the world,” he is “never sanctioned for spreading fear
and advocating harm.” They also attempted to make the case that a harsh
sentence would not
discourage other potential right-wing extremists from carrying out similar
long as the Executive Branch condemns Islam and commends and encourages
violence against would-be enemies, then a sentence imposed by the Judicial
Branch does little to deter people generally from engaging in such conduct, if
they believe they are protecting their countries from enemies identified by
their own Commander in Chief,” the attorneys wrote in the memo.
as The Root pointed out, the purpose for harsh sentences is to punish criminals
for the crimes they are convicted of doing – not to
dissuade others from committing the crimes. Instead of life in prison, the
attorneys are asking for a drastically lesser sentence: 15 years for Mr Stein, 10 years with each count served
at the same time for Mr Allen, and time already served for Mr Wright.
their own sentencing memo, federal prosecutors argued that a life sentence was “appropriate”
for the three ex-militia men since their goal for the attack was more than just
committing mass murder. They wanted to “incite other groups to ‘wake up’ and
commit other acts of violence against Muslims, against landlords who rent to
Muslims, and against the US government, and to spread the hateful message that
Muslims should be,
in the words of Defendant Stein, ‘eradicated’ from the United States.”
Stein, Wright and Allen will be sentenced later this month.
— The Alberta Human Rights Commission is hoping the Supreme
Court will hear its appeal
in the case of two Calgary Muslim students who were not allowed to pray at a
non-denominational private school.
Amir and Naman Siddiqui, who were in Grade 9 and 10 at Webber Academy in 2011,
told the human rights commission that praying is mandatory in their Sunni
religion. They said the school told them their praying, which requires bowing
and kneeling, was too obvious and went against the academy’s
human rights tribunal ruled the school’s policy was too rigid and it could have accommodated the
students without violating its secular status.
decision was upheld by the Alberta Court of Queen’s Bench. The
school then took the matter to the Alberta Court of Appeal.
overturned the commission’s original decision ordering the school to pay a
$26,000 fine for discriminatory behaviour and said another hearing was required
because Webber Academy raised new issues under the Charter of Rights and
Academy president Neil Webber said Monday the human rights commission is
seeking leave to appeal the decision.
should know I think by Christmas whether or not they have been successful. It
took them quite a while to make the decision,” said Webber.
doubt that they will be successful. My information from our lawyer and also
from a former member of the Supreme Court is that roughly 90 per cent of
applications for leave … are turned down.”
one at the Alberta Human Rights Commission immediately responded to a request
said he hopes to preserve the secular nature of the school, which has about
1,000 students. He said the school has always made it clear to incoming
students and their parents there is no space in the school for praying. It has
received only two requests for prayer space in its 22 years of operations and
both were denied.
said even if the Supreme Court refuses to hear an appeal, the matter is far
17 years into the longest war in America's history, the US administration's own
investigators shed new light on Washington's failures in the invasion of
Afghanistan, where, they say, the government has lost about half of the
country's soil to militants and failed to choke off their primary funding
source -- the narcotics smuggling.
its quarterly report for the US Congress released late Wednesday, the Special
Inspector General for Afghan Reconstruction (SIGAR) said the dire situation in
Afghanistan is only deteriorating despite the presence of thousands of American
boots on the ground there.
Pentagon watchdog's report further said the local Taliban militant -- which has
been the main target of the US's so-called war on terror -- "now controls
more territory than at any time since 2001," when Washington and its
allies first invaded the country.
55.5 percent of Afghan districts remain under the control or influence of the
Kabul government, the lowest such figure since SIGAR began tracking district
control in November 2015, according to the report.
spending on smuggling goes to waste
report further examined the notorious drug industry in Afghanistan, which the
Taliban have long profited from to finance their bloody militancy in the country
that is reported to be producing about 85 percent of the world’s
production in Afghanistan saw a spike in 2017 and is now four times higher than
narcotics industry helps finance the insurgency, supports criminal networks,
fosters public corruption, and undermines the Afghan state,” said John Sopko,
last few months saw several discouraging developments," said the report of
the broader situation gripping the country.
report did not cover the month of October, but it acknowledged more recent grim
setbacks then, including a militant attack targeting the top US commander in
the country and key police and intelligence officials in Kandahar Province.
Scott Miller survived the attack but the province’s
intelligence chief and police chief were both killed as the country was
preparing for key parliamentary elections.
adds to Afghans' misery
the sufferings of war-stricken Afghans have only doubled, with a drought having
displaced "about 275,000 people in 2018—52,000 more
than the ongoing conflict had displaced over the period."
to UN figures, some 2.2 million people were affected by the drought in May.
water shortage has also put wheat production at risk in a country where
agriculture employs about 40 percent of the population.
are around 14,000 US troops and some allies' troops still in Afghanistan.
year, US President Donald Trump decided for the American military to stay in
Afghanistan and announced a new strategy for continuing the campaign against
Taliban there -- in what became the only US foreign policy issue on which US
Trump has delivered a lengthy personal delineation of policy and goals.
year on, however, the US seems to be no closer to quelling the Taliban
militancy and stabilizing the country, which has also been grappling with yet
another serious security threat -- the Daesh terror group's emergence and
and Taliban have been taking turns over the past months to launch bloody
attacks against Afghan civilians, security forces and foreign troops.
faced with its failure to achieve the goals of the war, the US is seeking to
foster peace talks with a stronger Taliban to get out of the war.
Saudi intelligence chief, to whom Jamal Khashoggi once served as an adviser,
has warned against an outcry in the US over the murder of the dissident Saudi
journalist, saying that the “onslaught” against Riyadh poses a threat
to the “strategic partnership”
between the two sides.
Turki bin Faisal made the remarks during an address to the 27th annual Arab-US
Policymakers Conference in Washington on Wednesday.
denounced attacks on Saudi Arabia in the wake of Khashoggi’s
murder inside the kingdom's
Istanbul consulate on October 2.
tragic and unjustified” slaying of Khashoggi “is the theme of
today’s onslaught and demonization of Saudi Arabia in the same fashion as the
previous crises. The intensity and gleefulness of it is equally unfair,” he said. “Subjecting
our relationship to this issue is not healthy at all.”
also noted that Saudi Arabia’s “strategic relationship” with the US
had survived crises for more than 70 years.
this relationship is once again threatened,” he said, adding, however, that the
bilateral ties are “too big to fail."
Saudi prince further claimed that the kingdom is committed to bringing to
justice those responsible for Khashoggi’s death “and whoever else failed to
uphold the law.”
an outspoken critic of Saudi Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, entered the
consulate in Istanbul to get the papers needed for his marriage, but never left
weeks of denials of any involvement in Khashoggi’s
disappearance, Saudi Arabia eventually
acknowledged that he had been killed in a “premeditated” operation.
chief prosecutor said Khashoggi had been strangled upon his arrival at the
Saudi mission and then dismembered.
comments come as US Congress has stepped up pressure on President Donald Trump to punish
the Riyadh regime for the murder, which is widely believed to have been ordered
by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
US lawmakers have called for sanctions against the kingdom, while others want
Washington to stop its nuclear talks with Saudi Arabia.
Trump – who stands accused inside the US and abroad of seeking to
cover up the crime – appears to be reluctant to pose any risk to billions of
dollars worth of arms deals and investments in the kingdom.
Trump administration has courted the Saudis as they seek to build tens of
billions of dollars worth of nuclear power facilities. The US has also been the
major provider of weapons to the Saudi regime amid its bloody war on Yemen.
says doesn’t feel ‘betrayed’ by Saudis
fresh comments on Wednesday, US President Donald Trump said he does not feel “betrayed”
by the Saudis over Khashoggi’s death but “maybe they’ve betrayed themselves.”
remains of slain Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi should be located
and returned to his family for burial as soon as possible, the U.S. said
Department spokesman Robert Palladino told reporters Washington will "hold
accountable not only those who executed the murder, but also those who led,
were involved and were connected to it."
has been missing since Oct. 2 when he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
After offer varying explanations for his disappearance, Saudi Arabia
acknowledged he was killed in the diplomatic facility, but sought to shift the
blame for his slaying on a "rogue operation."
media has highlighted the mystery of the whereabouts of Saudi journalist Jamal
Khashoggi's body, who was killed inside the Saudi embassy in Istanbul,
according to the prosecutor's office.
prosecutors noted authorities from both countries had come to a mutual
agreement on carrying out a thorough investigation, revealing all details and
bring the offenders and plotters to justice.
Jamal Khashoggi was strangled to death -- in a premeditated way -- soon after
he entered the Istanbul Consulate of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia on Oct. 2,
2018 for wedding procedures," the Istanbul Prosecutor's Office said in a
statement. "His body was disposed of after being dismembered following his
death by suffocation - again, in line with the plans."
part of the agreement, Saudi Attorney General Saud al-Mujeb, along with a
delegation, went to Turkey on Oct. 28 and visited the Istanbul Chief Public
Prosecutor's Office on Oct. 29.
U.S. press highlighted Istanbul Chief Prosecutor Irfan Fidan's investigation on
the murder, highlighting the question of where Khashoggi's body was.
Washington Post carried the headline, "Prosecutor says Khashoggi was
strangled and dismembered, but fate of body still a mystery,”
in which is said the prosecutor
laid out the most detailed description of how Khashoggi was killed.
the new information did not address the question that has bedeviled
investigators and been the subject of furious speculation: What happened to
Khashoggi’s remains?" it wrote.
report revealed that a senior Turkish official was working on the theory that
Khashoggi's body was melted with acid, somewhere around the residence of the
consulate or ambassador.
New York Times said the killing of Khashoggi "has significantly raised
tensions between Saudi Arabia and Turkey. "
intelligence analysts and Turkish officials have maintained that the operation
could not have been carried out without the consent of Crown Prince Mohammed
bin Salman, the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia," it wrote.
Salman had sent al-Mujeb to Istanbul, but Fidan's statement said the talks were
Wall Street Journal carried a headline, "Turkish Prosecutors Criticize
Lack of Saudi Clarity on Fate of Journalist’s Body,"
after the statement.
said "talks in Istanbul fail to solve mystery of what happened to remains
of Jamal Khashoggi after he was killed at consulate."
Saudi prosecutor, who invited Istanbul prosecutors to Riyadh to cooperate on
the probe, also appeared to distance himself from comments that the killing had
been premeditated," the Journal added.
authorities initially said the body was given to "a local operator,"
a claim later denied by al-Mujeb.
said the Turkish prosecutor's statement is the "clearest yet from the
Turkish authorities about" the fate of slain journalist, whose remains
have not yet been found.
channel broadcasting in the U.S., ABC News, said a Turkish prosecutor publicly
confirmed for the first time that Khashoggi was strangled and his body was
said the Turkish authorities have asked the Saudis where they disposed of
Khashoggi's body but have gotten no response.
polls and election projections predicting a Republican loss of majority in the
US House of Representatives on Tuesday, the Trump administration is bracing for
pressure from Democrats that could affect its Middle East policy agenda.
control of the House for the first time since 2010 could unleash investigations,
subpoenas and endless hearings over the administration’s
performance, including its
record and policy trajectory in the Middle East. Former US officials and
experts who spoke to The National named Yemen, the Middle East peace process
and policy towards Iran as the top three areas where Democrats could apply
extra legislative scrutiny and oversight over the White House.
change of party leadership in the House will also bring change at key
committees that deal with Middle East policy. Democratic replacements to head
these panels include congressman Adam Smith for the House Armed Services
Committee, Eliot Engel for the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and Adam
Schiff, a particularly fierce critic of Donald Trump, for the Intelligence
passing of the gavel could complicate Mr Trump’s agenda in
curbing Iran or pressuring the Palestinians
ahead of rolling out the US peace plan. The president will have to depend on
Congressional help “to roll back Iran’s nuclear programme,
maintain a US military presence in Syria, effectively pressure and incentivise
the Palestinians to come back
to the negotiation table, and to keep the newly troubled relationship with
Saudi Arabia on track”, said Daniel Shapiro of the Institute
for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv.
Shapiro, who was ambassador to Israel under Barack Obama, said a Democratic
House “will almost certainly demand an end to support for the Saudi
campaign in Yemen and restoration of some Palestinian assistance programmes”. A
Democratic majority could also be reluctant to help the administration pressure
European allies to scrap
the Iran deal, he said.
Trump would have to “build bipartisan support in Congress for
controversial foreign policy initiatives”, he said.
Matthew Brodsky, a senior fellow at the Security Studies Group, did not see the
limitations as having a crippling effect on Mr Trump’s
Middle East policy.
constitution gives the executive branch and the president wide latitude to
conduct foreign policy so that the US can be nimble and respond to challenges
abroad,” he told The National.
Brodsky acknowledged, however, that the Democrats could pursue budget
constraints and upping the ante on Saudi Arabia, especially in limiting the US
role in Yemen. The secretaries of state and defence, Mike Pompeo and James
Mattis, both called for a cessation of hostilities in the war earlier this
Bernie Sanders has introduced a bill in Congress calling for a withdrawal of
the US support role in Yemen. But although House Democrats can censure the
Saudi-led intervention in Yemen, "they can’t stop the
ammunition delivery” from the US, said Barak Barfi of the New
while Democrats “cannot hold up nominees for presidential
appointments in the Defence and State Departments, they have some arrows in
their quiver”, he told The National.
include “subpoena power and the ability to hold hearings on
controversial aspects of the administration’s policies, such as pulling out of
the Iran nuclear deal”, Mr Barfi said.
arrows are on the minds of senior Trump officials. Bloomberg, Vanity Fair and
CNN have all reported this week that senior US officials could leave their
positions if the Democrats win the House. Some of the names that are reportedly
expected to jump ship and exit the government are Secretary of Interior Ryan
Zinke, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and White House spokeswoman Sarah
a Quranic verse, Prince Turki Al Faisal said that taking an innocent life is
like killing all of humanity when speaking about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi
in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate last month.
an address at the 27th Annual Arab-US Policymakers Conference at the National
Council on US-Arab Relations on Wednesday, the former Saudi ambassador to the
US discussed the murder of the former government insider turned self-exiled
critic of the kingdom as well as the close relationship between Riyadh and
he pointed to challenges – such as the oil crisis in the 1970s or
the “tragic day” of 9/11 – he said the two countries' relationship was “thicker
he said that in the wake of the killing of Khashoggi there had been an “onslaught
and demonisation of Saudi Arabia”
with “intensity and gleefulness … [that is] unfair and malicious.
our relationship to this issue is not healthy at all. Saudi Arabia is committed
to bringing to justice those responsible for Jamal Khashoggi’s
murder and anybody else who failed in upholding the law. Justice will run its
course," he said.
had worked with Prince Turki as a media adviser between 2003 and 2007 when he
was an ambassador in London and then Washington.
public prosecutor Saud Al Mojeb, who has overseen the investigation into the
murder, visited Istanbul this week to discuss the case with his Turkish
Prince Mohammed bin Salman publicly denounced the murder as
"repulsive" and officials have said it was an unsanctioned killing
carried out by security officials without the knowledge of the country’s
Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir confirmed on Saturday that six people had been
dismissed as part of the Saudi investigation.
on Wednesday evening top Turkish prosecutor Irfan Fidan said Khashoggi was
strangled as soon as he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2
and his body was dismembered before it was removed.
US has called for a thorough explanation for the killing and senators triggered
an investigation that could lead to sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Act of
2016 on Saudi nationals involved in the death.
this podium I have said many times that our relationship is too big to fail, I
believe it will survive this crisis," Prince Turki said.
described the kingdom as the “centre of the Islamic world to which 1.5 billion worshipers turn
to pray five times a day”. He said the kingdom plays an important
role working with the US to end conflict across the Middle East. “The kingdom
provides more than 4 per cent, per capita in aid to poor and developing
yesterday the kingdom forgave $6bn of debt to those poor countries. We are an
asset to our friends, not a burden," Prince Turki said.
he also had a warning for those he said had “banded”
around the word values to damage the Saudi-US relationship.
value that we hold dearly is attributed to the prophet Jesus …
which says that ‘people in glass houses should not throw stones'," he
that have tortured and incarcerated innocent people and that launched a war
that killed many thousands of people based on fabricated information should be
humble in their regard to others and countries that have persecuted and
disappeared journalist and other individuals should not pose as champions of
free speech," Prince Turki warned.
said that over the years, Saudi Arabia’s close relationship with the US had cost
it dearly in its image across the Arab world. “We bore that cost because we
believed in the value of our friendship,” he said.
other value that Saudi Arabia upholds is the idea from the Quran that “the
killing of an innocent person is like the killing of all of humanity … the
killing of Jamal Khashoggi is like killing all of humanity”, the former
he also asked why there was not similar outrage at the deaths of young people
in Gaza, where nearly 200 people have been killed and more than 17,000 wounded
in six months of demonstrations against Israeli policy.
unarmed Palestinian children are slaughtered every day by the Israeli army …
and yet I do not see the
same media frenzy and demand to bring the perpetrators, and whoever ordered
them to kill those children, to justice," he said.
reforming and transforming, our fight against the forces of darkness continues,”
Prince Turki said. “We stand up to the hegemonic
ambitions of the Iranian leadership which, as we are witnessing in Denmark’s
actions, never ceases to export its terrorist activities.”
most non-Muslims in the US are accepting of Muslim Americans, Republicans are
far more likely to have potentially negative views about them, according to
data released Thursday.
America, a thinktank working with the American Muslim Institution, conducted
1,165 interviews in four metropolitan areas prior to the 6 November midterm
of Muslims in America are especially prescient in advance of an election cycle
that has highlighted racial, religious and economic divides. Donald Trump has
capitalized on anti-Muslim sentiment to rally segments of his base which oppose
immigration – most flagrantly with his travel ban from
several majority Muslim nations.
also recently referred to a US-bound caravan of migrants as an “invasion”
– making flimsy, unproved claims that “Middle Easterners” were among them.
results provide mixed signals into these perceptions.
ideology” – to be specific, describing oneself as a Republican – “is
the strongest indicator of negative attitudes toward Muslim Americans”,
according to these researchers.
percent of self-described Republicans agreed they don’t
believe Islam is compatible with American values, compared to an overall 42%.
percent agreed with the idea that Muslim Americans weren’t
as patriotic as non-Muslim Americans, compared to 38% generally.
per cent of Republicans surveyed agreed they’d be
concerned if a mosque or Islamic center were constructed in their neighborhood,
compared to an overall level of 33%.
slightly more than half – 53% – disagree that the influx of Muslim candidates for
public office is positive for America, compared to 31% of the entire response
overall 85% of non-Muslim Americans agreed “diversity is
a good thing for America”, the survey found.
the same amount “believe their fellow Muslim citizens contribute
positively to the US economy and to society”.
66% of participants also told surveyors that it’s a “positive
sign of progress for our country that over 100 Muslim Americans ran for public
office in the 2018 election cycle”.
same pool of respondents nonetheless expressed concerns about Muslims’
place in America.
60% said Muslim Americans were equally patriotic to non-Muslim Americans –
meaning some 40% did not, surveyors said.
than 50% said they were concerned about the spread of Islamic extremism in
the professed support of diversity, about one third of survey-takers reported “feeling
uncomfortable when they see Muslim Americans wearing a veil”.
same amount of participants also agreed they “would be
concerned if a mosque or Islamic center was built in their neighborhood, and
believe Muslims should be subject to extra security screenings at airports”.
Americans, when pressed to offer a guess, said they believe 60% of Muslim
Americans want to assimilate with American society “or
have respect for American laws” – meaning a “significant minority [is] assumed
to lack these feelings”, surveyors claimed.
Americans also overestimate the number of Muslim Americans in the US, data
non-Muslim Americans think 16% of the populace is Muslim, only about 1% of the
US population actually identifies with the religion.
belief is especially prominent among respondents with “less
income, less education and who consume no news”, surveyors said.
survey, which was conducted before a an antisemitic gunman killed 11 worshipers
in a Pittsburgh synagogue on Saturday, also found that few Americans thought
there was a lot of antisemitic discrimination.
per cent of non-Muslim Americans surveyed agreed Muslim Americans endured a lot
of discrimination – at nearly the same levels experienced by
African American and transgender individuals.
to other minority groups, only one-third agree there is a lot of discrimination
against Jews in America,” the survey found.
Masood Azhar, Jaish-e-Muhammad chief, and Kandahar hijacking mastermind, has
confirmed the killing of his nephew, Usman Ibrahim by the Indian security
forces in an encounter in Jammu and Kashmir’s Tral.
himself has confirmed this in an audio recording as he has asked the Kashmiris
to stand against India and launch an offensive.
the audio clip, Azhar said, “My beloved nephew Usman Ibrahim and a
Kashmiri fighter, Shaukat Ahmed have sacrificed their lives. A large number of
people gathered to pay tribute to Shaukat
Ahmad and still Indians claim that Kashmir is an integral part of India? They
should feel ashamed.”
militant Usman Ibrahim is the second nephew of Azhar to be killed in Kashmir in
a span of less than a year.
while praising the “sacrifice” of his nephew said, “18-year
old Usman Ibrahim has sacrificed his life at this young age. Usman’s visit to
Kashmir is not illegal, but India’s entry into Kashmir’s territory is illegal.”
asked the Kashmiris to unite against India and launch a jihad. “Kashmiri
youth, isn’t Usman’s sacrifice not enough to make you stand. Dying a life of a
slave is against any Muslim. India has given you an option to live as a slave
and die as an oppressed.
You must handover both things to them and get ready to sacrifice themselves.
How long will you stand alone? You must stand together and get India uprooted,”
audio message confirms Pakistan’s ongoing acts of cross-border terrorism against India. It also highlights the
fact that Pakistan-based terrorist outfits continue to send armed terrorists to
Jammu and Kashmir with an aim to kill innocents in Jammu and Kashmir, the very
people that Islamabad professes to support.
Terrorists gunned down BJP's Jammu and Kashmir unit secretary Anil Parihar and
his brother in Kishtwar town of Jammu division on Thursday evening when they
were returning home from work.
was imposed as a preventive measure to deal with any communal situation in the
sources said Parihar and his brother Ajeet, a State Forest Corporation
employee, were attacked by the gunmen around 8.30pm at Tapal Gali, not far away
from their residence. They were returning from their shop in the nearby market
when they were attacked, SSP Kishtwar Rajinder Gupta said. Parihar used to run
a newspaper agency from the shop. "They sustained bullet injuries in the
heads and were taken to district hospital Kishtwar where doctors declared them brought
dead," said a source, adding that the attackers were lying in wait.
was imposed by the administration in the Muslim-majority town soon after the
killings. BJP workers staged protests in the district after the attack. When
contacted, divisional commissioner Jammu, Sanjeev Verma, confirmed that it was
a subversive attack. He said it is premature to say anything in this regard
till the investigation is complete.
crimes, radical groups killing people on the name of religion and saving cows
and left-wing extremism (LWE) are among the biggest security threats the
country is facing today. This was stated by former Jammu and Kashmir governor
NN Vohra at the first K P S Gill memorial lecture organised by Punjab police at
Indian School of Business on Thursday.
said that the radical groups are using the cyber space to sabotage the country’s
security and spreading terror. “The cyber crime is the new ‘non-military’ challenge to
the country’s security,” he said.
mentioned that while he was the governor of Jammu and Kashmir, he came across a
case when a man in Andhra Pradesh contacted two Kashmiri youths through
internet and prepared them to become militants.
added killing people in the name of cow slaughter has affected businesses in
the recent past,” he said.
the militancy problem in Kashmir, Vohra said that Pakistan, encouraged with its
efforts of spreading militancy in Punjab, shifted its focus to Jammu and Kashmir
where it started the proxy war in 1989.
situation in Kashmir is worsening since 2012. We are managing the war in the
state on a day-to-day basis, but nowhere near to stop it. The enemy keeps
changing the tactics and the armed forces are capable of giving it a befitting
reply,” Vohra said, replying to a question regarding killing of
Indian army personnel by snipers.
his suggestions to strengthen the security in the country, Vohra said that
there is a need of a pan-India network.
also said that less budget for police is the problem in strengthening the
forces across the country. “Jammu and Kashmir government spends only
0.01 per cent of the total budget. Political interference is also a big
reason,” Vohra said.
later replied to the queries of the police officers present in the lecture.
terror module busted in Patiala; arrested man ‘planned
attack during festive season’
Pakistan-Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) terror module was busted with the
arrest of Shabnamdeep Singh, 24, of Samana sub-division, from Lahori Gate in
Patiala on Thursday morning, Punjab police said.
hand grenade, a pistol, letter pads belonging to a banned terror organisation
and a motorcycle have been recovered from him.
planned to attack police stations and crowded places in the ongoing festive
season,” DGP Suresh Arora said, in a release. He has been sent to
police custody till November 5. “He is associated with the Khalistan Gadar Force, a terrorist organisation,
and was also running operations for the Sikhs for Justice (SFJ),”
said Patiala SSP Mandeep Singh Sidhu.
interrogation, the accused confessed that he planned to target Patialas
Inter-state Bus Terminal (ISBT) and nearby
locations, the SSP added. He added that a team under DSP (detective) Sukhminder Singh Chauhan and
Samana Counter-Intelligence Agency (CIA) in-charge, Vijay Kumar, had been
formed to carry out the arrest.
Arora added, “With this arrest, police have blown up the cover over the ISI’s
nexus with Gurpatwant Singh Pannu’s SFJ, which is running the Sikh
Referendum-2020 campaign. With ISI backing, SFJ had launched a conspiracy to
spread mayhem in the state. Shabnamdeep, alias Maninder Lahoria, alias Billa, had been out on bail for a petty
crime in Rajasthan.”
Khan Wazir, who we suspect is a Pakistan intelligence officer, contacted
Shabnamdeep from Pakistan in July. He was also introduced to a Pakistani Sikh
named Gopal Singh Chawla, former general secretary of the Pakistani Shiromani
Gurdwara Parbandhak Committee. Khan had tasked Shabnamdeep with targeted
killings and promised him Rs 10 lakh for each such killing,”
October, the Pakistan-based handler of Shabnamdeep asked him to buy a new phone
and install a new messaging application. On October 24, his operatives
delivered him a sophisticated pistol and grenade,” the DGP
several liquor vends on fire’
DGP said SFJ operative Nihal and other Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) incited
him to indulge in arson of liquor vends. “Shabnamdeep and his accomplices set
liquor vends and shacks, along with a house, on fire last month. The videos
were sent to his handlers. He purchased a motorcycle and a new mobile phone
with funds transferred
to him by Nihal,” a police source added.
sources added Shabnamdeep was in contact with Sukhraj Singh of Nagoke village
in Tarn Taran, who was also involved in the burning of liquor vends and the
propagation of Referendum 2020. “Sukhraj contacted Shabnamdeep for delivery
of weapons to carry out targeted killings. Recently, Amritsar police had
arrested Sukhraj,” the state police chief added.
of the youths in the Muslim-dominated village of Khair in Bahraich district
bordering Nepal have fled fearing arrest, after the police booked close to 200
people of the community under UAPA in connection with a clash on October 20.
clash took place while a procession for Durga idol immersion was passing
through the village. One Ashish Kumar Shukla, a local resident who was part of
the procession, got an FIR lodged at Baundi police station against 80 named
(all Muslims) and 100-200 unnamed people. It alleged that the accused —
armed with pistols, bombs and swords — attacked the procession and 50-60
unidentified people were injured.
police have arrested 19 people from Khair and claimed to have identified 52
others. Police officials, however, now claim the UAPA was invoked wrongly, and
that they will drop it from the FIR.
Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) is a central law that is usually
invoked on acts posing threat to the sovereignty and integrity of the country.
police force including PAC has been deployed in Khair, and shops are closed.
The village bears a deserted look, with most of the houses locked. The other
houses are inhabited by the elderly, women and children. Many who have stayed
back allege harassment by the police.
was a clash between Muslims and Hindus, but police registered FIR only against
us. No FIR was lodged against people in the procession who engaged in
brick-batting and attacked our houses and shops. Police are harassing us,”
alleges 63-year-old Jaituna.
“All youths left home after the police started raiding our
houses. Those who were found were arrested. My sons Ramzan Ali (30) and Nankau
(28) are in jail,” says Jaituna, who is left with two daughters-in-law and 10
who have fled include former village head Mohammad Rasheed (45) and head cleric
of Jama Masjid at Khair Bazaar, Hafiz Abdul Bari (43). “Rasheed’s
family too has left. Police broke their doors and windows when women and
children were inside,” says Mohammad Hasan, a neighbour.
Karamatullah (55) says, “When the procession reached near Jama
Masjid, some persons in the procession threw gulal on Muslims on the roadside.
The latter objected, and a heated argument took place. But people intervened
and the matter was resolved.
Then some members in the procession again threw gulal inside the masjid, which
led to an altercation. Both groups clashed.”
Kumar Jaiswal of the same village has another version: “People
of another community attacked the procession without any provocation.”
head Sarita Verma’s husband Hari Narayan Verma says, “The
village has 65 per cent Muslim population. I do not know if the attack was
Superintendent of Police, Bahraich, Ravindra Kumar Singh, says, “So
far, 71 Muslim
youths have been identified as being involved in the clash. It was confirmed
after scanning eight videos from locals. So far, 19 accused have been arrested.”
why there is no FIR against the other group (Hindus), he said, “We
have no evidence that two
groups clashed. In the videos, people in the procession are only seen chanting ‘Jai
Shri Ram’ and not being involved in violence.”
adds that UAPA had been wrongly been invoked, and they are probing how this
happened. “We are now invoking Criminal Law Amendment Act,”
not in India, will Ram temple be built in Pakistan?’
Senior Congress MLA and former Karnataka minister R Roshan Baig on Thursday
supported the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya.
a Ram temple is not constructed in India, will it be built in Pakistan?”
he said, adding
that Muslims respect the sentiments of their Hindu brothers and were not
opposed to the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh.
BJP has been looking to politicise the issue to reap its benefits in elections
to five states and with an eye on the 2019 Lok Sabha election, the Congress
legislator said. “When the matter is before court, they are
talking about an ordinance because they know the people are unhappy with inflation, effects of GST,
demonetisation and unemployment,” he said.
The National Investigation Agency (NIA), New Delhi, has taken over the
investigation into the plot to murder Hindu Makkal Katchi (HMK) founder Arjun
Sampath by seven Muslim youths.
city police arrested the youths a month ago and was investigating the case.
to sources, the NIA registered a case against the youths on October 29 and
filed an FIR under sections 143 and 120 (B) of the Indian Penal Code, and
sections 15,16,18,20 and 38 (ii) of the Unlawful Activities (prevention) Act,
NIA took up the case after it came to light during investigation that one of
the arrested youths had links with the Islamic State. The case details will be
handed over to the NIA by the Variety Hall Road police soon.
September 2, 2018, R Ashik, 25, of Thirumal Street, NH Road, Coimbatore, S
Ismail, 25, of Tindivanam in Villuppuram district, S Samsuddeen, 20, of
Pallavaram, S Salavudeen, 25, of Chennai, and I Jaffar Sadiq Ali, 29, of
Vyasarpadi in Chennai, were arrested by the Variety Hall Road police for
plotting to murder HMK founder Arjun Sampath and Sakthi Sena Organization leader
of the arrested youths, Ismail, was the secret member of Islamic State. Ismail
was running a waste paper mart. An ardent follower of Islam, Ismail used to share
information related to Islamic State on his Facebook pages - ‘Permanent
payanam) and ‘A Muslim Without Fear’.
had also pasted a sticker reading ‘State of India and Jammu & Kashmir’
on his motorcycle and had sent the snap to his friends.
on Ashik’s confession, Faizal Rahman of GM Nagar and Sahul Hameed alias
Anwar, 23, were also arrested by the city police.
All of them are currently lodged at the Coimbatore central prison.
at the famous Oxford Union debating society, Iran’s ambassador
to the UK has revealed the extensive efforts made by European nations to
counter anti-Iran US sanctions.
Hamid Baeidinejad addressed Oxford students on the topic of the Joint
Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), also known as the 2015 Iran Nuclear Deal.
Iran’s current position on the JCPOA, he said: “The aspiration that
we have with the European Union, Britain, France and Germany, China and Russia,
is that we keep the Iran Nuclear Deal alive and give time to the U.S. to rethink and
revise its position.”
he emphasized that any idea of changing or renegotiating the nuclear deal would
be “impossible” because if one word is changed other aspects of
the deal will either be changed or compromised.
Baeidinejad played a leading role in the negotiation process from 2013-15 and
has since worked to protect the deal from US attempts to undermine it.
ambassador admitted that “we have a total loss of confidence” in
negotiating with the US after their
withdrawal from the JCPOA, but added that “we are trying very hard with European
countries, with China and Russia, to find mechanisms that this deal could
(still) be effectively implemented.”
Iran Nuclear Deal is a preliminary framework agreement reached between the
Islamic Republic of Iran and a group of world powers known as the P5+1. The
group included the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council:
the United States, Britain, Russia, France, and China, plus Germany and the EU.
deal was agreed under President Barack Obama, but once Donald Trump took power
in 2017 the US withdrew from the JCPOA and is due to enforce new sanctions on
Iran with the aim of stopping Iran from trading.
ambassador said, “There will be pressure against some countries, particularly
European countries, and economic and trade institutions from attempting to
enter into working with Iran, there will probably be some risks.”
he said that he remains sure that there is “total
determination” by European
countries and other world partners to find “practical
solutions” so that the deal will be kept alive.
asked if the UK has remained independent from the US's hostile position towards
the deal, the ambassador said: “Let me confess that we were not really optimistic that (the UK)
can keep their position independent but they have remained so, they have tried
to be independent and we have seen that they are making real efforts to
convince the US that this is not a good policy.”
the past, the UK has been criticized for adhering to US foreign policy
positions without hesitation, but Trump’s withdrawal from the nuclear deal has
created an unprecedented divide between the UK, the EU and the US.
US sanctioning Iran alone without the backing of the United Nations and the
European Union is also unprecedented, but the pressure applied by Trump has
already forced several major business giants to pull out of Iran, such as the
French oil giant Total and US aerospace company Boeing.
many other countries are expected to defy US pressure and continue to trade
with Iran by setting up new trading platforms to protect significant business
transactions and continue buying Iranian crude oil.
less than 100 hours remaining until the next wave of US sanctions, India, the
second largest importer of Iranian oil behind China, has forced the US to
provide a sanctions waiver allowing them to continue purchasing Iranian crude.
of the new set of restrictions, US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo has said
Washington expects all oil purchases from Iran to “go
to zero,” but added that the government would “consider waivers where
British government is working “hand in glove” with Saudi Arabia’s
“despicable regime” by supporting its war crimes and human rights violations in
the Middle East,” says an
academic and political commentator in London.
Arabia spends hundreds of millions of pounds in the UK annually to fund TV
channels in order to spread its Wahhabi ideology and encourage terrorism and
conflicts in the region, Rodney Shakespeare told Press TV on Wednesday.
UK-based anti-Iran television channel is being funded through a secretive
offshore entity and a company whose director is a Saudi Arabian businessman
with close links to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, British media have
source has told the Guardian newspaper that the Saudi prince, who is also known
as MBS and is likely responsible for the murder of Saudi dissident journalist
Jamal Khashoggi, is the force behind Iran International.
source told the Guardian that Saud al-Qahtani, who served as media adviser to
MBS and was among several senior officials removed in connection with Khashoggi’s
murder, was involved in the funding of Iran International.
is a disgusting use of Saudi money and its happening in the UK and that is
because the UK has a disgusting government which is supporting Saudi Arabia in
is occupation of Bahrain…and we are supporting the massacre in
Yemen,” Shakespeare said.
whole thing represents money being used by television stations”
to buy public relations and broadcast their “dirty propaganda to hide the nasty
reality, which is the UK government, is hand in glove with the most despicable
regime in the world,” he added.
Media, the company that runs Iran International, has a director named Adel
Abdulkarim, who is a Saudi national. He has had a long working relationship
with well-connected Saudi executives, some of who have links to the Saudi
disclosures contradict the channel’s claim that it has editorial
independence, and come at a time of growing fears about a number of
Saudi-linked stations operating across London.
International emerged abruptly on the London media scene last year, with many
of its 100 or so employees receiving generous salaries, often double what
rivals paid, but has been elusive about its source of funding, according to the
to one source, Saudi Arabia gave $250 million (£197 million) in funding to help
the launch of Iran International, which runs no commercial advertising.
alleged new attacks against Syria after one that led to the downing of a
Russian surveillance jet over the Arab country have plunged ties between Tel
Aviv and Moscow to a new low, Israeli sources say.
September, Israeli fighter jets attacking the Syrian government’s
positions in Latakia used a Russian Il-76 plane flying over the area as shield
and took cover behind it, a maneuver that misled the Syrian air defenses to
shoot down the
plane and kill all the 15 Russian officers aboard.
incident prompted Moscow to speed up the delivery of its advanced S-300 air
defense systems to Damascus, a game-changing development that forced Israeli
commanders to rethink their plans for future airstrikes.
this week, however, an unnamed senior Israeli military official revealed to the
media that while Tel Aviv had to work with Moscow to improve
"deconfliction" of its missions, the airstrikes never stopped.
IDF have attacked in Syria, including after the downing of the Russian plane.
Military coordination with the Russians continues as before," said the
Thursday, Israeli media reported that Russian officials were outraged by the
new Israeli attacks and personal ties between Israeli minister of military
affairs Avigdor Lieberman and his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoygu had been
severed as a result.
reports, citing more unnamed sources within the Israeli military, further noted
that the Kremlin was also rejecting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s
attempts to schedule a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss
the S-300 deployment.
media observers monitoring Israeli raids against Syria allege that the latest
attack took place more than a month ago.
to some experts, the Israeli attacks were aimed at testing the Russian
reports stated that the recent attack was carried out in daylight, and the
Russians were warned beforehand.
Russia blasted the move through the Russian-Israeli military liaison system but
stopped short of making the attack public.
Wednesday, Russian Defense Ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov said Moscow was
preparing the S-300s for use in Syria.
system is a warning to all the hotheads in the region," he warned, without
explicitly naming Israel.
Hassan Rouhani has warned about the dangers posed by Washington’s
unilateralism to the world, urging European countries to work with Iran to
counter the US.
a Thursday opinion piece published by the Financial Times, Rouhani lashed out
at Washington for its foreign policy over the past two years, saying that the
US administration’s policies have emerged as a new and
complicated problem for the world.
took a jab at the US for “complicity in the daily atrocities in
Yemen,” for the “humiliation and
gradual perishing of the great nation of Palestine,”
and for the support it offers to such criminal groups as Daesh, saying such
policies have exacerbated the problems in the region.
broadly, US President Donald Trump’s approach to matters of trade, international treaties and
the humiliating manner in which he treats even America’s
allies, illustrates how US foreign policy has posed new challenges to the
global order,” he said.
brief, the US administration’s policies of unilateralism, racial discrimination, Islamophobia,
and the undermining of important international treaties, including the Paris
Climate Accord, are fundamentally incompatible with multilateralism and other
socio-political norms valued by Europe,” the president added.
pointed to the US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal as the other critical
matter aggravating transatlantic relations.
the US, through raising unfounded claims and in complete disregard for its
international obligations, has abandoned the nuclear agreement and imposed
extraterritorial and unilateral sanctions on Iran and, by extension, other
countries,” he said, blasting the US for threatening
others who seek to abide by a UN Security Council resolution that endorsed the
2015 nuclear deal.
praised the “valuable” support expressed by the
remaining JCPOA parties since Trump’s withdrawal, but at the same time noted
that the European parties as well as Russia and China still need to “present
and implement their final proposed package of measures to compensate for and mitigate the
effects of America’s newest unilateral and extraterritorial
sanctions before they are imposed.”
nuclear deal demonstrated that Iran is committed to reason and dialogue,”
he said, adding that it can only survive
if the Iranian people can witness and enjoy the benefits it promised.
today’s tumultuous world, the only way to overcome difficulties is
through concerted international efforts based on mutual interests, and not the
short-sighted demands of one or
a few states,” the Iranian chief executive noted,
adding that “unilateralism is fatal, while multilateralism is the only
appropriate, inexpensive and effective course of action.”
tradition of multilateralism positions it well to play an important role in reinforcing peace and
stability in line with its identity and interests. Iran believes in
multilateralism and is prepared to join other peace-loving nations in this
path,” Rouhani noted.
Bashar al-Assad has urged European countries to come and take a closer look at
the developments in his country as their approaches to Syria are totally “divorced
of the biggest mistakes made by many European countries is separation from
reality,” Assad said in a Thursday meeting with a Polish delegation
visiting the Arab country.
hailed the European delegation’s visit to Damascus and said making such
visits to gain a closer knowledge is the most important step for foreign governments to build a correct and
to Assad, such visits help foreign states adopt positions and stances, which
serve the interests of their people and contribute to their protection, the
official Syrian Arab News Agency (SANA) reported.
briefed the Polish delegation on the war, which Syrians have been facing for
more than seven years, and explained that the tools of the conflict have ranged
from terrorism, direct aggression, and economic sanctions to attempts to
intervene in the country’s internal affairs and imposing isolation
Syrian president also welcomed the Polish delegation’s
idea of establishing a joint parliamentary committee and expansion of bilateral
cultural exchanges, stressing that Damascus is open to any efforts that will build good
relations between people.
turn, the Polish delegation headed by MP Pavel Skutitsky stressed that the main
purpose of their visit to Syria was to take a closer look at the latest
said the war and the achievements made by Syria against terrorist organizations
have contributed to staving off terrorism that could have been transported to
the neighboring countries and to Europe later.
also expressed hope that the Syrian state would fully eradicate terrorism and
regain control over all of its territory.
European delegation’s visit to Syria came a couple of days
after the Arab country strongly denounced sanctions imposed on it by the
European Union, saying the bans were harming the Syrian people.
UN Ambassador Bashar al-Ja'afari told a Security Council session on Monday that
foreign-backed Takfiri terrorists and the sanctions imposed by the US and the
EU were inflicting suffering on the Syrian people.
May 28, the EU extended its restrictive measures against the Damascus
government until June 1, 2019.
sanctions currently in place against Syria include an oil embargo, restrictions
on certain investments and a freeze of the assets of the Syrian central bank
held in the EU.
EU bans are also in place on dozens of companies linked to the government of
For dozens of French women detained in Syria, an impossible choice looms:
Keeping their children in a war zone, or sending them home knowing they might
never see each other again.
other Western nations which experienced an extremist exodus to Iraq or Syria,
France is grappling with how to handle citizens left in the war zone following
heavy losses for Daesh.
week, France announced plans to start repatriating an estimated 150 children,
many of them being held alongside their mothers by Kurdish forces in Syria
following Daesh defeats.
French officials made clear that the mothers themselves will not be welcomed
few days ago, Nadine — her name has been changed — got a phone
call from her daughter-in-law in a Kurdish camp.
young mother was in tears. “Do I have to abandon my children in order for them to go
back to France?” she sobbed.
Houry, a senior Human Rights Watch official who regularly visits the Kurdish
camps, said France’s announcement would “bring an end to an
are no schools or activities for children in the camps, where poor hygiene
causes regular bouts of diarrhea, vomiting and skin infections. Lawyers for the
mothers, pushing for the whole families to be repatriated, have complained for
months of “deplorable” conditions in the camps.
daughter-in-law gets sick a lot, like her children,”
Nadine said. “She only weighs 45 kg.”
to bring extremists back onto home soil, France has so far insisted its
captured nationals must go on trial locally.
260 adults and 80 minors have already returned to France from Syria or Iraq,
and earlier this year French authorities estimated that more than 700 adults
and 500 children were still in the war zone.
French adults have already been tried in Iraq and their children repatriated.
in Syria, most of the remaining French nationals are being held in northern
Syria in territory which, while under Kurdish control, does not constitute an
internationally recognized state.
forces have repeatedly insisted they will not try foreign prisoners and have
called on the extremists’ home countries to repatriate them.
said the idea that France could leave the Kurds to put its nationals on trial was
“a fiction” that it was maintaining in a bid to avoid public
alarm at a wave of
impending terrorist returns.
for the mothers, meanwhile, say it is a travesty that a country which touts
itself as a beacon of human rights would separate parents from children and
leave its citizens in a war zone.
Bourdon, a lawyer for several of the women, insisted that “the
vast majority have had no combat or active role in Daesh and have a right to a
fair trial, which can only take place in France.”
began sobbing at the thought of the choice facing her daughter-in-law.
to give away your children without knowing whether or not you’re
going to see them again one day, or who will be looking after them — can you
imagine doing that to someone?” Nadine said in a phone call.
daughter-in-law is still breastfeeding the youngest, just eight months old. It’s
an unspeakable cruelty.”
predicted that many of the mothers will refuse to separate from their children —
an assessment shared by relatives in France.
their only reason for living,” said one resident in northern France,
whose sister is still in Syria.
daughter-in-law will not give up her little one like that, not even knowing
what’s going to become of herself,” said Sarah, a pseudonym.
Sarah’s son and his wife set off for
Syria in 2016 and were arrested a year ago by the Kurds.
mother and son are both in a camp, fending off illness and chasing away mice
from their tent, Sarah said.
the families, child psychologist Serge Hefez believes separating the children
from their parents can only bring more harm.
a link with a parent, even if it’s visits in prison, is essential for a
child,” he said.
is still waiting for a transparent and credible investigation from Saudi Arabia
into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and is ready to take action in
light of new findings, a government spokesman has said.
spokesman, who asked not to be named, told Anadolu Agency that Germany was
increasingly concerned over the case as many questions remained unanswered
almost a month after Khashoggi's disappearance.
are now following very closely whether Saudi Arabia is endeavoring to ensure
transparency in the clarification of the case and to hold to account those
responsible. In light of this development, we are ready to take appropriate
action with our international partners,” he said, referring to widespread calls
for sanctions against Riyadh.
Chancellor Angela Merkel spoke by phone with Saudi Arabia’s
King Salman last week and called for a rapid, transparent and credible
investigation, stressing that all those responsible must be held accountable.
appeal to Saudi Arabia remains valid. Saudi Arabia has committed itself to this
in several public statements and must now be measured by these statements,”
the spokesman said.
German government has also praised Turkey’s efforts to unravel the truth since
work of the Turkish authorities has played a major role in the investigation of
the case to date. The federal government supports all efforts to clarify this
case completely,” he stressed.
Khashoggi, a Saudi national and columnist for The Washington Post, was killed
on Oct. 2 inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
weeks of denying involvement, the Kingdom admitted last week that Khashoggi had
been killed at the consulate but claimed that the Saudi royal family had no
prior knowledge of a plot to murder him.
far, 18 people, including security officers, have been arrested in Saudi Arabia
in connection with the murder.
Wednesday, Turkish prosecutors announced their preliminary findings, saying
Khashoggi was strangled to death in a premeditated killing soon after he
entered the Saudi consulate.
Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office said Khashoggi's body had been
disposed of after being dismembered.
Awareness Month (IAM) is upon us once more, and sadly it comes with new figures
which highlight that the conditions of Muslims is getting worse in the UK.
to government data, over 8,300 incidents of hate crime in England and Wales
between April 2017 and March 2018 were motivated by religion.
may come as no surprise that over half of the abuse recorded, was directed
towards Muslims or those perceived to be Muslim. This represents a 40 percent
hike in religious hate crime.
hate crime overall has risen by 17 percent over the year, and of the more than
94,000 cases recorded, 75 percent were race-related. Given the racialisation of
Muslims, this places an entire community and those who are perceived to belong
to it, within two highly targeted categories.
general secretary of the Muslim Council of Britain responded to the recent
data, stating that "No longer can the government sit back and watch as the
far-right rises, Islamophobia is mainstreamed and vulnerable Muslim communities
reality is, the daily onslaught on Muslims in headlines, trade unions, academic
reports and personal accounts, predates the report by far. Not only has the
government sat back and watched this happen, it has also been an active
participant in perpetuating Islamophobia.
the likes of Home Secretary Sajid Javid tweets comments that homogenise an
entire group, he is dog-whistling to the far-right.
Home Office - in its usual attempts to downplay the rise of the very racism
which it largely peddles through its policies - has 'suggested' that the
alarming rise in numbers could be due to their improved monitoring of hate
is particularly disingenuous, given that their own research demonstrates that
following terror attacks like those in Manchester and London, anti-Muslim abuse
tends to rise because racists feel emboldened by the national rhetoric that
blames the entire Muslim community and Islam for the atrocities.
not forget, for example, the attack on Muslims outside Finsbury Park mosque by
far-right inspired Darren Osborne, who attempted to mow down worshipers in his
incident led to the death of Makram Ali and left a dozen people injured.
Osborne's suicide note indicated he was 'taking revenge' for terrorism,
apparently on any random Muslim he could find. The message is clear: All
Muslims are the same, they are all dangerous, and should all be punished.
more: How do white Muslims experience Islamophobia?
fact, since the attack, the mosque has received hate-filled letters with deeply
Islamophobic content. One threateningly announced: "There are thousands of
other Darren Osbornes and it's just a matter of time," further
illustrating that while one man may have received due punishment, anti-Muslim
views are still roaming freely and confidently.
letter stated that the perpetrator's actions were "just the beginning, we
will kill you all".
chief executive of the Muslim Welfare House (an extension of Finsbury Park
Mosque), Toufik Kacimi, said that the June attack had traumatised the community
and left many too afraid to leave their homes.
abusive harassment of the Mosque only serves to confirm the fears of local
mosque-goers - as well as the wider Muslim community - that they have good
reason to be worried of such crimes happening again.
the court proceedings following the attack, it became clear that material
shared by Tommy Robinson and far right groups had served as motivation for
Darren Osborne who, in the words of the Judge was said to have held an
"ideology of hate towards Muslims".
very people inspiring such horrific acts can today be seen gaining rising
popularity and wealth. As Tommy Robinson (Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) was released
on bail after facing charges of being in contempt of court, thousands rallied
and cheered him on, with many waving the UKIP flag outside the Old Bailey in
Guardian reported that a former assistant to Robinson stated that since his
arrest, he has had a "massive payday".
popularity of his hateful ideologies has reached US shores, too. Congress
members have invited him to speak in Washington where, during the tour it, is
estimated he could make up to $1.3 million in donations.
a few weeks ago, the DFLA (Democratic Football Lads Alliance) also marched
confidently in London against "returning jihadists", "thousands
of AWOL migrants", "rape gangs and groomers", and "veterans
treated like traitors".
1,500 people attended, many were chanting "Whose streets? Our
streets!" The demonstration was a horrifying display of the rise of the
far right in the UK, complete with sieg heiling and Nazi paraphernalia.
Islamophobia is not just the purview of far right groups and isolated racists;
the right wing establishment also plays its part.
Counter-Terrorism and Border Security Bill is yet another institutionalised
form of anti-Muslim oppression which will make travel, education and work more
difficult for so many. The proposals include arrest for visiting certain 'high
risk' - read, 'Muslim majority' - countries, or viewing sensitive online
content. This legitimises and strengthens a culture of suspicion towards
Muslims and - by extension - all racialised people.
fact, it's this very climate of fear, stoked by politicians and media outlets,
and institutionalised through laws and harmful police practices, that lay the
foundation for the rise of more radical street-fighting thugs.
country's institutions normalise racism towards Muslims, and mark them out as
dangerous and separate from society. They whip up a sense of danger and fear
towards an entire community.
is then, considerably easier for Robinson and his clique to mobilise to 'fight
radicalisation' and target Muslims across the UK. The government does it also,
but Robinson promises to do it better, and more rapidly.
Kozbar, chairman of Finsbury Park Mosque summarised the current situation for
Muslims, when I asked him whether he felt that the attack on the mosque was an
isolated incident, or symptomatic of wider problems across UK institutions:
have seen the misconception about our religion in the media and how they
systematically try to normalise it in the eyes of the British public, even by
some of the politicians for political gain and tactics. And this, no doubt,
made Islamophobia worse and leads to many nasty attacks on institutions like
ours or even individuals - especially Muslim women who are the most vulnerable
and easy targets."
ease with which attacks on legal rights, free speech, or assumptions of
innocence by the state have been accepted because they were first carried out
against Muslim communities has been frightening, and is a further reminder of
the deeply ingrained Islamophobia across society.
is a time to reassess, a time to realise that things are actually getting worse
despite the misguided idea that hate crimes and racism are something of the
it is also a time to pledge to take action and fight back. Together, we can
celebrate Islam and reiterate our right to practice our religion freely. We
must also name our oppressors, call out the institutions that target us, and
organise alongside others in the student, trade union and anti-racist
Outraged by the Supreme Court's acquittal of a Christian woman in a blasphemy
case, Pakistani Islamist protesters paralyzed life across the country for a second
day on Thursday by blocking roads in all major cities, smashing vehicles and
forcing shopkeepers and traders to shut their businesses.
apex court on Tuesday freed Asia Bibi, a mother of four, who had been living on
death row since 2010. She was the first woman sentenced to death by hanging
under Pakistan's controversial blasphemy laws.
the whereabouts of Asia Bibi and her family were unclear on Thursday. But
speculation is rife that she and her family will leave Pakistan due to threat
to their lives.
Pakistan (TLP), a far-right party that emerged after the execution of Mumtaz
Qadri, the murderer of former Punjab governor Salman Taseer who had defended
Bibi, was at the forefront of the countrywide protests on Thursday.
Hussain Rizvi, the TLP chief and the main force behind the protests, called for
the assassination of the chief justice who acquitted Bibi. "The chief
justice and two others deserve to be killed," Muhammad Afzal Qadri, a TLP
co-founder, told a protest rally in Lahore.
their security guards, their drivers, or their chefs should kill them," he
said threatening to block roads across the country until the judges were
removed from their posts. Qadri also called for the ouster of Khan's new
government and urged army officers to stand up against the military chief
General Qamar Javed Bajwa.
to the ongoing violent protests, train services remained suspended from Lahore
to other cities on Thursday. All important roads in Lahore, were blocked by
Pakistan (TLP) chief Khadim Rizvi said Thursday that his party is not linked
with the miscreants, adding that he will continue his peaceful struggle.
to Twitter, the firebrand cleric said, “TLP has no connection with the
miscreants, trying to disrupt peace. We’re a peaceful organisation and
determined to continue peaceful struggle.”
Labbaik chief called on the federal government to put a check on the
miscreants. “It’s the responsibility of the government
to check those miscreants,” he said. “Our workers are not involved in any
activity to harm our own country.”
claimed that none of his workers is indulged in spreading violence in the
far-right religious cleric has made it clear that TLP’s
countrywide protests will not end until he gives the call.
he commented on the Supreme Court’s verdict to acquit Aasiya Bibi in the
blasphemy case. “Had Asia been punished under 295 C, the Islamophobes and
neo-imperialists would have been silenced once for all. Unfortunately,
government has not shown courage to displease secular-capitalist nexus,”
PM Imran Khan had warned of stern action against those challenging the state’s writ, State Minister for
Interior Shehryar Afridi said Thursday the government was in talks with the
religio-political parties protesting against Aasiya Bibi’s
acquittal. The nation would soon hear good news, he added.
Prime Minister Imran Khan’s stern warning to the Islamist hardliners over their agitation
following the Supreme Court’s acquittal of a Christian woman Asia Bibi in a blasphemy
case, drew sharp censure from the opposition parties while the country erupted
in violent protests on Thursday.
a televised address to the nation late on Wednesday, Khan warned religious
extremists against inciting people, claiming that they were doing disservice to
Islam. “Only anti-state elements can threaten to kill judges or start a revolt in the army.
They are only trying to strengthen their vote bank,”
Khan said, warning the religious fundamentalists not to push the state to a point where it had no
option but to take action against them.
ultimatum to the Islamist fanatics assumes significance because it is a
departure from his pre-election rhetoric that was aimed at mollycoddling Taliban
and its likes. It also runs counter to the image of Pakistan which so far has
been known to show lack of tolerance and empathy for its religious and gender
Pakistan’s opposition criticized Prime Minister Khan for his toughness against
fundamentalists. Syed Khurshed Shah, a senior PPP leader and former leader of
opposition in NA strongly condemned Khan’s speech, stating that his tone was aggressive. “There
was violence in his tone. You cannot bring peace with this tone,”
Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader, Khawaja Saad Rafique, agreed with Shah
over the PM’s tone, saying: “We believe that Imran Khan's body
language and tone was aggressive during his address.”
you (PM Khan) are saying that blocking roads is not an appropriate action but
yesterday, you were giving calls to the people to block roads and lock down
cities,” Rafique said. “The religious card which had been used by the
PTI against the previous
PML-N government was now being used against it,” he added
without elaborating his party’s stance on the top court’s decision of freeing Aasia Bibi.
Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari took Khan to task for being
absent from the national assembly and for not ensuring the country that
substantial measures had been taken to maintain law and order. “What
steps are being taken
to protect our judges? What steps are being taken to protect Aasia Bibi? There
is no one here to answer our questions, he
Prime Minister Imran Khan landed in Beijing Friday morning on a four-day visit.
His first visit to China since taking over as PM, Khan is expected to hold
bilateral talks with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang today. The two
countries are expected to sign several pacts.
visit comes at a time when the country is in a financial crisis and is seeking emergency aid of
$8 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Khan is likely to seek
funds from China to avoid going to the IMF. China has already agreed to invest
over $60 billion in Pakistan under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)
to build roads, ports, power plants and industrial parks.
General of the Inter-Services Public Relations Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor on Friday
said that Asia Bibi was acquitted by the courts and added that the army had
nothing to with her case.
to PTVNews, the DG ISPR advised religio-political parties protesting against
the Supreme Court judgement on Asia Bibi's appeal to seek a legal solution to
their grievances. He referred to a review petition, filed by Qari Muhammad Salaam,
and said that they should wait for the courts to decide the matter.
the army is dragged into every matter," he said when asked about
anti-military statements issued by protesters. "This is a legal matter and
it is sad that negative statements are being issued against the army."
are tolerating a lot," he added and pointed out their were certain
limitations imposed by the Constitution and action can be taken in case of
urged the protesters not to divert the army's attention to other matters since
the forces are fighting to defeat terrorism.
armed forces, along with the rest of the country, have fought a war that we are
about to win," said Maj Gen Ghafoor. "Our goal is long-lasting peace.
We have established peace and we are headed towards stability but there is
still a lot left to do," he said.
Aasia Bibi, the Christian woman acquitted after eight years on death row for
blasphemy, plans to leave Pakistan, her family said on Thursday.
development followed a landmark move by the Supreme Court on Wednesday that
overturned the 2010 conviction against her.
remained at an undisclosed location on Thursday where the 54-year-old mother of
five was being held for security reasons, awaiting her formal release, her
brother, James Masih said.
said Aasia simply would not be safe in Pakistan. “She has no
other option and she will leave the country soon,” he said. Masih would not
disclose the country of her destination but both France and Spain have offered asylum.
husband, Ashiq Masih, had returned from Britain with their children in
mid-October and was waiting for her to join them, the brother added.
family is in hiding for fear of attacks by those angry at the court’s
ruling, and still
waiting to be reunited with Aasia.
know my two youngest daughters were below age of 10 when their mother went away
... They don’t remember spending much time with her,”
family has four daughters and one son, he said. “We are thankful to the court that it decided
the case considering us human beings instead of any discrimination on the base
of faith or religion.” He said Aasia, who is about 50, has not
been released from prison pending arrangements for her safety.
can’t be safe here,”
brother-in-law Nadeem said. “You know what’s going on outside. We want things
to settle down before we go ahead for her release.”
Aasia soon to be free, her family is struggling to make plans. They would
prefer to leave the country to be safe, but there are plans in place.
haven’t got any contact yet either from Pakistani authorities or
anyone from outside,” Nadeem said.
Ashiq Masih said he would be sad to be forced to leave his homeland. “We’re
also part of Pakistan,” he said. “This is
our country. We love it.”
saving condemned Christian Aasia Bibi from the gallows, her lawyer says he is
facing the wrath of extremists — and wonders who will save him.
despite the threats against him, Saiful Mulook says he regrets nothing, and
will continue his legal fight against intolerance.
verdict has shown that the poor, the minorities and the lowest segments of
society can get justice in this country despite its shortcomings,”
he said after the verdict. “This is the
biggest and happiest day of my life.”
said he feels he is now a sitting duck with no security or escape plan. “I
think I have absolutely no safety. No security and I am the easiest target...
anybody can kill me,” he said.
defence of Aasia was just the latest in a long line of controversial cases
taken up by the barrister.
2011, Mulook was the lead prosecutor against Mumtaz Qadri over the
assassination of Punjab governor Salman Taseer.
— one of Taseer’s bodyguards
— gunned down his boss in broad daylight, citing the governor’s
calls for reform of the blasphemy laws as his motive.
said he took on the case as others cowered, fearing reprisals from extremists.
His prosecution resulted in the conviction and subsequent execution of Qadri.
says his life has not been the same since; he rarely socialises, lives in a
constant state of hyper-vigilance and has been inundated with threats.
you conduct such cases you should be ready for the results and the
consequences,” the greying 62-year-old explains.
Mulook said the risks have been worth the reward.
Pakistan has started the process for the appointment of a new ambassador in
Washington, the second in less than six months, diplomatic sources told Dawn.
Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told reporters in Islamabad last week that the
government was sending a new envoy to Washington to replace Ali Jahangir
Siddiqui, who was appointed by the previous government. The proposed
replacement, Dr Asad Majeed Khan, is a career diplomat currently serving as
ambassador to Japan.
embassy received Dr Khan’s agrément days after the announcement
and on Friday forwarded it to the US State Department.
the department usually takes more than a month to approve an agrément, Mr
Siddiqui’s papers were approved within weeks.
Siddiqui also got his accreditation in a record time. He arrived in Washington
on May 28 and presented his credentials to President Donald Trump on June 22.
Khan, who would be Pakistan’s 29th Ambassador to the United States,
is not new to Washington. He served as Pakistan’s Charge d’Affaires ad interim
to the United States from May 2013 to January 2014 and as Deputy Chief of
Mission from March
2012 to September 2015.
his nomination, a former Pakistani ambassador, Senator Sherry Rehman, said she “strongly
cheered” this development. “He held the job for six months after I had resigned
and even while I was serving, (he was) a stellar, upright and smart diplomat, able to move with the
times and challenges,” she tweeted.
DELHI: Sheikh Hasina's return to power in next elections later this year will
be critical to continue success Bangladesh has achieved against terrorism and
extremism in the past decade.
its unremitting effort against terrorist formations in Bangladesh since the
attack, over 100 terrorists have been killed and over 1500 arrested across the country.
fact Sheikh Hasina's government has hardened its resolve to eradicate terrorism
from Bangladesh after the Holey Artisan cafe attack. It has demonstrated the
efficacy of determined and relentless action against terrorist formations over
the past year and more, officials and experts pointed out.
Minister Hasina has emphasised that Bangladesh does not and will allow its territory
to be used by any terrorist, terrorist group or entity against any state or
people including India. Her re-election therefore is important for India's
stability and prevent Bangladesh from once again becoming a hub of ISI
activities, counter-terror experts point out.
strongly condemns terrorism and violent extremism in all forms.
line with its zero-tolerance policy against terrorism and violent extremism,
Bangladesh does not and will not allow its territory to be used by any
terrorist individual, group and entity against any state or people, according
to senior Bangladesh officials. India
has praised Hasina's zero tolerance policy towards the terrorism, saying it was
an inspiration for all. Bangladesh joined hands to fight the forces of
instability and terrorism.
spread of radicals and extremists led by Jamaat-e-Islami posed a 'grave threat'
not just to India and Bangladesh, but to the entire region. India has expressed
determination to stand by the Bangladeshi people in the country's fight against
have excellent cooperation between our security agencies that ensure that
peace, security and development for our people and for the region remains
central to our engagement,” according to an Indian official.
has launched a crackdown against terror financing. Investigations into the
financial operations of terrorist groups and Jamaat-e-Islami have exposed their
Pak links. Jamaat has been accused of promoting political Islam in Bangladesh
with support from ISI and their participation in government between 2001-06 was
among the worst periods in Bangladesh political history when terror groups were
active plotting against Opposition and India.
arrest warrant was issued against him from the court
Jamaat-e-Islami ameer of Thakurgaon district has been arrested over a case of
arrested Maulana Abdul Hakim from his Hazipara residence on Thursday, as an
arrest warrant was issued against him from the court.
Sadar police station OC Mostafizur Rahman has confirmed the news.
Jamaat leader was sent to jail after he was arrested,”
said OC Mostafizur.
Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will sit down to unprecedented talks
with the opposition on Thursday to discuss installing a caretaker government
ahead of December's election, a key demand of the opposition Bangladesh
BNP, in disarray after the jailing of its chief, former Prime Minister Khaleda
Zia, on corruption charges, stayed away from the last parliamentary election in
2014 when that demand was not met.
election was marred by widespread violence that killed hundreds of people and
disrupted the impoverished South Asian country's economic mainstay, the US$30
billion-a-year export-driven garment industry.
Secretary-General Mirza Fakhrul Islam Alamgir said the formation of an interim
government was necessary to ensure a "level playing field".
will also ask for the release of our chief Khaleda Zia and demand the
deployment of the army to ensure smooth voting," Alamgir told Reuters.
said the party still hoped Khaleda, whose jail term was doubled to 10 years on
Tuesday, a day after she was jailed in another graft case for seven years,
would be released and be able to lead the opposition coalition of 20 parties,
the National United Front.
had not lined up an alternative candidate for prime minister, he added.
attorney-general has ruled out her taking part in the election.
and Khaleda, who between them have ruled Bangladesh for decades, are bitter
rivals and the BNP says its leader has been jailed on trumped up charges to
keep her out of politics.
government and Hasina's Awami League deny the accusation and say the courts are
Huq, minister for law, justice and parliamentary affairs, declined to comment
on the agenda for the talks.
Abdur Rashid, the executive director of the Institute of Conflict, Law and
Development Studies in Dhaka, said the meeting had raised hopes of a
comparatively peaceful election for Bangladesh, which has attracted
international attention for hosting tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslim
refugees from neighbouring Myanmar.
don't want anarchism like in the previous election," Rashid told Reuters.
U.S. Ambassador Marcia Bernicat on Tuesday called the meeting a positive
Commander of the NATO-led Resolute Support Mission and U.S. forces in
Afghanistan Gen. Scott Miller has said the conflict in Afghanistan could only
be ended through a political solution, emphasizing that the Taliban also
realizes that they cannot win militarily.
an exclusive interview with NBC News Gen. Miller said he recognizes that the
solution in Afghanistan will be political, not military.
is not going to be won militarily,” Miller said. “This is going to a
assessment is the Taliban also realizes they cannot win militarily. So if you
realize you can’t win militarily at some point, fighting is just, people start
asking why. So you do not necessarily wait us out, but I think now is the time
to start working through the political piece of this conflict.”
he said “We are more in an offensive mindset and don’t wait for the
Taliban to come and hit [us].”
least sixty eight militants including two foreign militants hailing originally
from Pakistan have been killed or wounded during the separate operations of the
Afghan and U.S. forces in southeastern Ghazni and Paktia provinces.
203rd Thunder Corps of the Afghan Military in the Southeast in a statement said
at least 16 militants including two Pakistanis were killed during the
operations of the Afghan forces in Waghez district of Ghazni.
statement further added that the Afghan Air Force also carried out airstrikes
in Maidanak, Perugi, Shap, Dargari, Qala Kohna, Nasratabad, Mullah Hussain, and
Laiq areas along the Highway No. 1 in Ghazni, leaving at least 39 militants
dead and 8 others wounded.
to 203rd Thunder Corps, the U.S. forces also carried out airstrikes in Choni
area in the outskirts of Paktia’s capital, leaving at least 3 militants
dead while a motorcycle of the militants was destroyed.
Nations officials have blasted a repatriation deal struck between the
governments in Bangladesh and Myanmar over the return of Rohingya Muslim
refugees, saying that conditions in the northwestern state of Rakhine are “not
yet conducive” for their returns.
two sides agreed in January to complete a voluntary repatriation of the
refugees over a two-year period. The repatriation, however, was delayed due to
a lack of preparation as well as protests staged by Rohingya refugees against
the plan to send them back to Myanmar while conditions were not safe for their
and Myanmar government officials announced this week they had struck a “very
concrete” repatriation deal for the return of the 720,000 Rohingya refugees who
fled a brutal state-sponsored military crackdown in August 2017 and crossed into
Bangladesh, where they live in overcrowded camps with limited access to food,
medicine and education.
repatriation would begin with 2,000 returnees in “mid-November.”
reaction to the announcement, Stephane Dujarric, a spokesman for the UN
Secretary General Antonio Guterres, however, said the bilateral agreement had
taken the UN high commissioner for refugees (UNHCR) by surprise.
be clear… UNHCR, which is in lead on the issues of refugees, was not
consulted on this matter,” Dujarric
said at a Wednesday daily press briefing given by the secretary general’s
UNHCR, the conditions in Rakhine state are not yet conducive for a return to
Myanmar,” Dujarric noted. “And, at the same time, we’re seeing Rohingya
to arrive from Rakhine state into [Bangladesh], which should give you an
indication of the situation on the ground.”
United Nations refugee agency also said it would not assist with such refugee
returns because the Rakhine state was “unsafe” for the persecuted Muslim minority
of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have been living for more than a year in
cramped refugee camps in Cox's Bazar district in southeastern Bangladesh after
fleeing violence in Rakhine state at the hands of the Myanmar military.
voices 'extreme concerns' about Rohingya return
Food Programme (WFP) Executive Director David Beasley said on Wednesday that
there were "extreme concerns" about the return of Rohingya Muslims
from their camps in Cox's Bazar to Rakhine state in Myanmar.
had a day earlier visited the Kutupalong camps and spoken to families about the
prospect of returning to their homes in Rakhine.
I can say very clearly, from the people that I've talked to inside the camps, I
think many do want to go back when it's safe -- will that day ever come? I
don't know. I know if I were in their shoes, I'd have some extreme concerns
about going back and we heard that from people all over the camp," he
are some people who don't want to go back, under any circumstances. These are
the decisions that each individual will be having to make, based on the
information that is available," Beasley added.
year, extremist Buddhist monks rushed to help Myanmar’s
military, when it intensified its crackdown campaign against Rohingya Muslims
in Rakhine State.
campaign – which the UN described as the textbook
example of ethnic cleansing campaign – has
seen mass killings, torture, and gang rape of Rohingya Muslim as well as arson
attacks against their homes and farms in Rakhine.
Kabul government control over Afghanistan has slipped in recent months as local
security forces have suffered record-level casualties without making tangible
progress against the Taliban militant group, a United States government
recently provided by the Resolute Support Mission (RSM), a US-led NATO mission
in Afghanistan, revealed that during the last quarter of the current year, the
Afghan government managed to control or influence only 226 of the country’s
407 districts, that is 55.5 percent
of the total Afghan territory only.
US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), which
compiled the data, said in a report on Thursday that the RSM figure marked a
slight drop of 0.7 percent compared to the same period the previous year. It is
the lowest level since SIGAR commenced tracking district control in November
watchdog’s report added that of the remaining districts, 49 were under
militant control or influence, which makes some 12 percent, adding that the balance —
132 districts — were considered “contested” between the central government in
Kabul and the Taliban or other militant outfits, including the Takfiri Daesh
to the report, in terms of the Afghan population itself —
some 35 million
people — Kabul controls or influences 65.2 percent, the same amount as
the period of May 1 to the most current data as of October 1, 2018, the average
number of casualties the (Afghan forces) suffered is the greatest it has ever
been during like periods,” SGAR quoted RSM as saying.
this week, US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said that more than 1,000 “Afghan
lads” had been killed or wounded in August and September only.
further said in its report that data also showed that the Afghan forces “made
minimal or no progress in pressuring the Taliban over the quarter.”
US, along with a number of fellow-NATO members, invaded Afghanistan in 2001,
toppling a Taliban regime in control of most of the country at the time, but it
has failed to restore security in the country plagued by militancy and
administration of US President Donald Trump is now negotiating with the Taliban
group, excluding the Kabul government.
8,000 people lost their lives or were wounded in Afghanistan between January
and September this year, with the country on track to be deadlier than Syria in
blames the Taliban militant group for the bulk of the deaths.
to the iCasualties website, 3,555 US-led troops, including 2,414 American
soldiers, have been killed since the onset of the aggression on Afghanistan
some 17 years ago, following the 9/11 terror attacks.
is rapidly expanding the size and scope of detainment camps in the country’s
western region, according to reports, where hundreds of thousands of Muslims
are being held in what are described as indoctrination centers.
imagery of the area over the Xinjiang region shows not just 28 separate
detention camps - apparently part of a huge Chinese government program to
better control the sizeable Muslim population in the area –
but continued expansion
of those detainment centers.
of the satellite imagery, released this week, shows the total camp area grew
more than 400 percent since 2016. Most of the expansion occurred this year,
according to the research by the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, which
conducts research for the Australian military.
News conducted an investigation into the camps and used the institute’s
expansion of the camps coincides with heightened criticism of the
indoctrination centers by former detainees and their relatives. International
media reports have also stepped up coverage of the issue.
Rights Watch China Director Sophie Richardson called the images and report a
significant addition to the growing body of evidence about the suppression
campaign against Muslims.
critical new facts that show the Chinese government is carrying out a massive
human rights violation in the Xinjiang zone,” Richardson
told Fox News. “It’s a critical link between showing the physical
infrastructure and connecting it to the abuses taking place inside these facilities.”
said the Chinese government “considers the distinct religion,
language, culture, education and traditional practices of this community to be
a political threat.”
satellite imagery shows prison-like facilities, complete with high fencing and
watchtowers. The report described them as “punitive in nature and more akin to
prison camps than what the Chinese authorities call ‘transformation through
estimated 14 million Chinese citizens, most of them members of Muslim ethnic
groups, live in Xinjiang. Tensions have flared between the Chinese government
and the Uighurs, one of China’s most prominent minority groups, who
seek to establish greater autonomy.
Chinese government will not say how many people are being detained in the
camps. Reports put the number in the hundreds of thousands, while some believe
there could be as many as a million being detained.
relatives of those being held, who can speak freely outside China, say
detainees have died in the camps, or shortly after they were let out.
officials have refuted reports of a mass detention system aimed at subjugation,
instead saying that the camps were vocational schools that would combat the
violence in the area. A Foreign Ministry spokesman refused to comment on the
report about the expansion of the camps.
images come as a United Nations panel is scheduled to discuss China’s
human rights record in Geneva next week. The topic of the camps has been more
in international circles, even before the report of the satellite images.
diplomats went to the Xinjiang area in August and determined reports about the
camps were “broadly accurate,” according to a Wall
Street Journal report.
Chinese state has changed the facts on the ground in Xinjiang so dramatically
that it has allowed little time for other countries to meaningfully react,”
said the institute report. The researchers analyzed satellite images,
construction-tender documents and information
from officials, activists and others, the Journal said.
BONG S SARMIENTO
Islamic State’s failure last year to establish a
caliphate in the southern Philippine city of Marawi, foreign militants continue
to flock to the island of Mindanao, waiting in the wings to strike anew.
analysts and military officials say at least 100 foreign terrorist fighters are
now holed up with a range of local armed groups that have pledged their
allegiance to Islamic State.
troops needed five months to flush out Islamic State-allied Maute and Abu
Sayyaf fighters from their positions in Marawi, which one year later has yet to
rise from the ashes of the urban war that left its core in ruins.
Banlaoi, chair of the Philippine Institute for Peace, Violence and Terrorism
Research, claims in an interview with Asia Times that Islamic State foreign
fighters are now streaming into Mindanao and that the situation is “getting
claim is based on information he collected over several months from state
security agencies. “The entry of FTFs (foreign terrorist fighters) to the
Philippines continues despite the liberation of Marawi,”
Banlaoi told the Asia Times on October 30.
also says that at least 60 have been identified by state agents through their
aliases, while nearly 30 others are unidentified.
figure is significantly higher than the 48 foreign fighters that the Armed
Forces of the Philippines’ intelligence unit said were operating in
Mindanao as of January 2018.
repeat of last year’s months-long siege would be disastrous
for the Philippines
and the wider region. The urban war left some 1,100 individuals dead, mostly
Islamist gunmen, including 32 foreign fighters, according to the Philippine
350,000 civilians were displaced by the war that began on May 23 last year,
prompting President Rodrigo Duterte to place all of Mindanao under
rights-curbing martial law. The order will remain in effect until the end of
the country’s first president from Mindanao who
claims to have meranaw (Marawi residents refer to themselves as such) roots,
declared the liberation of Marawi on October 17, 2017.
than one year on, though, some 70,000 civilians have yet to return to Marawi’s
250-hectare ground zero, a restriction that has fed local anger and resentment
in evacuation centers that have emerged as militant recruitment grounds.
Islamic State fighters often pose as tourists, students overstaying their
visas, foreign workers or economic migrants, and at least 10 of them have been
arrested since the start of this year, Banlaoi said.
Islamic State fighters have recently arrived in Mindanao from Saudi Arabia,
Turkey, Morocco, Spain, France, Tunisia, Iraq, Somali, Egypt, Yemen, Libya,
Pakistan, Bangladesh and China, he says, based on government monitoring of the
are coming from neighboring Indonesia and Malaysia, using Mindanao’s
maritime backdoor through the seas of Sulu and Celebes, known as the Sulawesi Sea in
Malaysian terror suspects usually enter the southern Philippines through the
province of Tawi-Tawi from the Malaysian state of Sabah on Borneo Island, while
the Indonesians tend to come through the provinces of Davao Occidental and
Sarangani from North Sulawesi.
three neighboring nations share broad maritime borders in what is considered
the second busiest shipping trade route in the 10-member Association of
Southeast Asian Nations.
FTFs regard Mindanao as the new land of jihad, safe haven and alternative home
base,” Banlaoi said. “They join local groups to wage jihad in the
Philippines on behalf of the Islamic State.”
foreign Islamic State fighters are luring local militants with the promise of
an East Asian Wilaya, or Islamic province, after the failure to establish one
in Mindanao after their defeat in Marawi, Banlaoi said.
Abu Sayyaf Group based in Basilan and Sulu, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom
Fighters based in Maguindanao, the Ansar Al-Khilafa Philippines based in Sarangani,
and the Abu Dar Group in Lanao del Sur, a remnant of the Maute Group, are all
coddling the foreign fighters, he said.
Colonel Gerry Besana, spokesperson of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’
Western Mindanao Command,
said Islamic State continues to inspire local Muslim armed groups despite their
military defeat last year at Marawi.
also said that foreigners who pledge allegiance to the Islamic State continue
to join local Islamic militant groups, confirming Banlaoi’s
of these foreign terrorists are coming in through our porous borders,”
Besana said, referring to the Sulu and Sulawesi seas that the Philippines
shares with Malaysia and Indonesia.
military official said the Philippines, Malaysia and Indonesia have intensified
joint navy patrols in border waters in a multilateral cooperation to fight
acknowledging that security forces alone can not detect foreign terrorist
fighters because of the nation’s long coastlines and rugged jungles in Mindanao,
the official called on the public to report suspicious foreigners to
authorities for verification of their identities.
militant groups have instead provided sanctuary to foreign terrorists in the
past. That includes well-known Malaysian terrorist Zulkifli bin Hir, alias “Marwan,”
a bomb-making expert who was killed in Maguindanao province’s Mamasapano town
in January 2015.
was given safe haven by the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters, a Islamic
militant group which has recently declared its allegiance to Islamic State and
is accused of orchestrating recent bombings in the region.
said foreign terrorist fighters are arriving in Mindanao because of Islamic
State’s “waning influence in the Middle East and in other parts of the world.”
LUMPUR: During his years of retirement from 2003 to May 2018, Malaysian Prime
Minister Mahathir Mohamad spent his time building mosques and an orphanage in
Muslim-majority provinces in southern Thailand.
was one mosque which he built from scratch and an undisclosed number that was
assisted financially, also an orphanage home where he built three blocks of
accommodation to house some 100 students,” an official from the Prime Minister’s
office told Channel NewsAsia.
his return to power following a stunning election victory last May, Mahathir,
93, is again finding himself involved in southern Thailand. This time, he is
attempting to revive stalled peace talks in the region where a long-running
insurgency in the provinces of Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani has killed 7,000
people since 2004.
Thailand is very close to his heart. He sees the peace talks as his last
regional peace effort,” Kadir Jasin, media adviser to Mahathir,
told Channel NewsAsia.
Mahathir’s official visit to Thailand last week, he pledged to “help
in whatever way possible” to end the violence.
BRN, THE LARGEST INSURGENT GROUP, BACK TO THE NEGOTIATING TABLE
however, are not optimistic that peace will come anytime soon in Thailand’s
deep south as the largest insurgent group there, Barisan Revolusi Nasional
(BRN), has stayed out of the talks.
prospects are very slim. The BRN has said that it will continue to sit out of
the talks, which it has done since October 2016,” said
Professor Zachary Abuza of the National War College of Washington DC.
peace talks are held between the Thai government and Mara Pattani, an umbrella
grouping of insurgents which previously included BRN.
the largest insurgent group, BRN controls nearly all the combatants on the
ground and has the strongest military capacity. Although it has refused to
return to the talks, some BRN members have joined Mara Pattani of their own
of the biggest challenges for Thailand is to bring BRN back to the negotiating
wants independent international organisations to be observers in the peace
talks as one of the conditions for returning to negotiations.
biggest obstacle that seems difficult to overcome is the call for international
observers,” said Rungrawee Chalermsripinyorat, an
independent analyst monitoring southern Thailand’s conflict.
Thai government fears that such a step (international observers) would lead to
further internationalisation of this conflict, which may open the door to
secession,” she added.
Thai military has often cited East Timor as an example where the United Nations’
involvement led to the territory breaking away from Indonesia in 1999, Rungrawee said.
she pointed out that several countries have successfully ended conflicts via
peace processes without resulting in separation. “Take for
example Aceh in Indonesia and southern Philippines,” she said.
observers believe that with Malaysia and Thailand undergoing a leadership
transition, this blunts the effectiveness of the talks.
not optimistic. An election will be held soon in Thailand and it’s not clear
what a new government in Bangkok would look like,” said Don Pathan, a security and development
consultant based in southern Thailand.
Kuala Lumpur, Mahathir and Abdul Rahim Noor (the former Inspector-General of
Police who is Malaysia’s new facilitator for the peace talks)
have about 18 months before the PM-in-waiting, Anwar Ibrahim, takes over.”
has said that he would step down after two years and hand over power to Anwar.
to that, Mara Pattani, the umbrella grouping which is party to the peace talks,
has said that it would only negotiate when a democratic government is in place
following the general election which is widely expected to be held in February
military has been running Thailand since a May 2014 coup that ousted the
civilian government of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra. It has promised to
hold a general election but has repeatedly pushed back the date.
Thai junta is unwilling to make even the most minimal of concessions; they have
shown little interest or will in negotiating in good faith. Their idea of
"peace" is that the rebels lay down their weapons without having to
address any of their core grievances,” added Prof Abuza.
Thailand’s Muslim-majority provinces are seeking greater autonomy and
IN VIOLENT INCIDENTS IN 2018
to Prof Abuza, the violence in southern Thailand has abated this year. In 2009,
over 430 people were killed and some 800 were wounded. In the first 10 months
of 2018, 61 people have been killed and 130 wounded.
attacks are fewer (but) they are extremely intense,”
analyst Pathan. “As long as the insurgents exist, Thailand
can’t claim victory.”
pointed out that Islamist groups like Jemaah Islamiyah had tried in the past to
exploit the insurgency by recruiting militants, but they came out empty handed.
“The conflict in Thailand’s far South is an ethno-nationalist
one and the banner has always been Patani Malay nationalism,” said Pathan.
there is another concern: That the conflict in southern Thailand is providing
IS militants in Malaysia with a source for weapons.
Malaysian government has been concerned that weapons have cascaded out of
southern Thailand into the hands of IS militants (in Malaysia),”
said Prof Abuza.
year after the Philippine military finished off at least 800 ISIS-inspired
militants in the Islamic city of Marawi, four terror groups continue to remain
a security threat for the Southern Philippines region, particularly the
Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and its ASEAN neighbors.
authorities identify four terror groups – Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters
(BIFF), the Maute Group, the Ansar
al-Khilafa and the Abu Sayyaf group operating in the islands –
as existing security threat to the region.
this growing threat, the Philippine Police and the Philippine Army in the ARMM
region this week signed a working agreement during a meeting at Camp Siongco,
Maguindanao province, to secure areas from vulnerable attacks by terror groups
who pledged allegiance to ISIS.
General Cirilito Sobejana of the Army’s 6th Infantry Division and General
Graciano Mijares of the Police Regional Office of ARMM represented the Army and
Police organizations respectively to sign the collaborative security agreement.
collaboration is part of the government strategy to eliminate all forms of
terrorism particularly in the southern Philippines to comply with the President’s
order. Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte earlier this year directed the
military to “destroy and kill” extremists who described them as supporters of
the four terror groups, the Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) remains the most potent
security threat not only to the Philippines but to neighboring countries such
as Malaysia and Vietnam. The ASG is presently holding 10 captives –
a Dutch national, a Vietnamese and eight Filipinos in Sulu. The group also
remains a maritime
threat known for abducting sailors from Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam.
the death of its leader Isnilon Hapilon, in the infamous Marawi battle last
year, the militant group easily re-established itself again. Close to a hundred
Abu Sayyaf fighters this week killed three marine soldiers in the on-going
battle in the island province of Sulu. The ASG was established in the 1990s by
mercenaries assigned in Afghanistan and evolved to become Southeast Asia’s
most feared terror group.
the Philippine military also identified the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters
(BIFF) as another security threat since the militant organization boasts to
have 5,000 armed fighters. The BIFF fighters were mostly members of the Moro
Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), a separatist movement, who accepted the
Philippine government offer of self-autonomy.
the MILF’s decision, the BIFF defected from the MILF and in 2010 the
latter declared the BIFF a “lost command.” While the MILF and the Philippine
talking peace to end the Mindanao armed conflict, the BIFF continues to
exchange firefight hostilities with Philippine security forces.
Lanao Sur, Omar Maute was responsible for the establishment of the Islamic
State of Lanao or locally known the Maute Militant Group, a radical group,
whose leaders were formerly MILF guerrillas.
the Maute group claims to have hundreds of armed fighters, it dwindled to 30
members but military intelligence reports claimed, the group is actively
recruiting more young people through social media after it suffered a heavy
defeat in the Marawi battle last year.
militant group to watch is the Ansar Khalifa or Ansar al-Khilafah that was
established in August 2014. The group is known for its viral video where its
leaders pledged allegiance to ISIS.
militant group made headlines when Philippine security authorities held them
responsible for the 2016 Davao City bombing. Two of its members were arrested
when they reportedly planted a bomb in a trash bin adjacent to the US embassy
these militant organizations continue to pose threat to the Philippines, the
military wonders why some natives in Muslim Mindanao continue to support ISIS
and joining these organizations. Lt. Col Gerry Besana, told journalists, that
despite the militant groups’ failure to hold territory in Marawi, the
militant ideology continues to entice local sympathizers.
Banlaoi, a counter-terrorism research expert in the Philippines, told local
journalists, that militant fighters from Indonesia and Malaysia were also
reportedly moving to the Southern Philippines to support local militant
activists reported on Wednesday that a Tahrir al-Sham Hay'at (the Levant
Liberation Board or the Al-Nusra Front) Commander, namely Abu Malik al-Tali,
and commander of Jonud al-Sham Muslim al-Shishani along with a number of
Chechnian terrorists have kicked off patrolling operations in contact lines
with the Syrian army in Northern Lattakia.
added that the Chechnian terrorists and Tahrir al-Sham militants have not
withdrawn from the demilitarized zone at all after the Sochi agreement was
inked between Ankara and Moscow.
Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu had warned last Tuesday that his country
would intervene militarily if the militants in Idlib oppose the Sochi
a senior Syrian military source revealed that the country's army would possibly
start military operations against the terrorists in the weapons-free zone as
the latter continues deployment in the region.
Arabic-language website of Sputnik news agency quoted the source as saying on
Tuesday that given Turkey's failure to implement its undertakings based on the
Sochi agreement with Russia, the Syrian army will kick off military operations
against the terrorists in the demilitarized zone if they continue attacks against
the army positions.
added that Northern Hama has in recent days witnessed attacks by the terrorist
groups, specially Horras al-Din, against the Syrian army near the region under
the supervision of Turkey near the town of Murak, noting that Jeish al-Izza
militants have also sent military equipment from Southern Idlib to al-Latamineh
front in Northern Hama.
source said that the Syrian army has responded to the terrorists' offensives in
demilitarized zone so far, adding that the army will launch massive military
operations in the region if they continue.
the Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper reported that the terrorists are
stationed in the arms-free zone from Northeastern Lattakia to Hama, Idlib and
Northwestern Aleppo, adding that the army has targeted the moves by Tahrir
al-Sham Hay'at terrorist group in the village of al-Janabereh and al-Latamineh
in Northern Hama with artillery fire, inflicting heavy tolls on them.
security forces have detained the daughter of former presidential candidate and
senior Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat al-Shater, family members and two
security sources said on Thursday.
al-Shater was one of six women arrested overnight. They also included Huda Abd
al-Moneim, a lawyer and member of the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood.
Interior Ministry could not immediately be reached for comment.
raided at around 11 p.m. (2100 GMT) on Wednesday, and she and her husband were
taken to an unknown location, her sister Hafsa said.
don’t know why they took her,” she said, adding that no reasons
were given for the arrest. “We are not involved in any political work.”
al-Shater, a former deputy leader of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, has been in jail
since July 2013 after the army led by general-turned-president Abdel Fattah
el-Sissi ousted the country's first freely elected president, Mohamed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood,
following mass protests against his one-year rule.
was propelled into the presidential campaign in 2012 when Khairat al-Shater was
disqualified on the grounds of a past criminal conviction.
al-Moneim, who was detained at around 1 a.m. on Thursday, was banned from
travelling abroad five years ago after speaking at a conference in Europe about
the violence used by security forces in 2013 on demonstrators protesting
against Morsi’s overthrow, her daughter Gihad Badawy said.
arrest warrant was presented and no reason was given for her arrest, she said.
worry about her health. She had a blood clot in her leg ... they wouldn’t
let her take her medicine,” Badawy said.
Brotherhood won Egypt’s first free elections after the 2011 uprising that
ended Hosni Mubarak’s 30-year rule.
Sissi, who as army chief deposed Morsi, has since overseen a crackdown on his
opponents in which hundreds of Brotherhood supporters, including Morsi and Shater,
have been jailed.
Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted local sources in the town of Ra'as
al-Ain in Western Hasaka near the borders with Turkey as saying that the
commander, who has been named as Shiyar, has defected the militia group.
paper added that the Turkish border guards provided security for Shiyar and
transferred him on a vehicle to Turkey via the village of Tal Halaf.
sources said that the Kurdish militants chased the car, but were forced to
leave the region after they came under intense fire by the Turkish slodiers.
between the Kurds and Turkish army have heightened in Northern Syria.
has issued several warnings in the last one week about an impending assault on
the Kurdish militias in Northeastern Syria.
Arabic-language al-Watan newspaper quoted sources close to the National
Liberation Front (NFL) terrorist group as saying on Monday that while
implementation of the Sochi agreement to create a demilitarized zone in
Northern Syria has come to a halt, Ankara ordered its allied militants in Idlib
and Northern and Western Aleppo to get ready for a major assault on the Kurds
in Northern Syria.
army troops found several ISIL arms caches during their purging operations in
al-Mayadeen region in Eastern Deir Ezzur on Thursday.
sources said the Syrian army forces have discovered 450,000 rounds of US-made
machine-gun bullets among the weapons and equipment.
Washington's attempts to deny its role in supporting the terrorist groups in
Syria, the army regularly finds US-made weapons in militants' strongholds.
a relevant development last Saturday, the Syrian army discovered a large volume
of US and Israeli arms, ammunition and medicines in clean-up operation in the
newly-freed Quneitra province.
army's engineering units carried out clean-up operations in the villages of
Bariqah, Ba'ar Ajam, Rasm Sanad in Southern and Western Quneitra province and
found a large volume of arms and ammunitions and other military equipment.
mortar launchers, anti-tank missiles, drones, the US-made missiles and Israeli
arms and noise-making devices were among the discovered equipment.
sources said on Thursday that the civilians attacked the checkpoint in al-Qatar
street of Northern Raqqa city after two people were killed by the SDF's
added that tensions between the two sides have sorely increased, noting that
the Kurdish forces fired at people to disperse them, wounding 5.
reports said unknown assailants attacked an SDF patrolling vehicle in
al-Saqiyeh district of Raqqa city with grenades, adding that two militants were
injured in the incident.
SDF has in recent days launched forced recruitment operations against the youth
in different parts of Raqqa, including Tal Abyadh and Mazra'at al-Rashid.
reports said in October that tens of families had fled refugee camps run by the
US-backed SDF in Raqqa province and headed towards Aleppo and Idlib provinces.
state-run al-Watan daily reported that over 40 families, settled in the refugee
camps West of Raqqa city that is under SDF's control, have left for Aleppo and
further said that the refugees' flee is due to the SDF's pressure on the camps'
residents to force them to join the SDF and also dire living conditions.
sources in Eastern Syria reported on Wednesday that the SDF had retreated from
its strongholds near the town of al-Baqouz near the Syrian-Iraqi borders in
Southeastern Deir Ezzur towards the US base in al-Tanak oil field.
the SDF announced in a statement that they have stopped operations against the
ISIL in Eastern Euphrates temporarily after the Turkish army intensified
attacks against the Kurds in Northern Syria.
claimed that Turkey's attacks in Northern Syria and the ISIL offensives in
Hajin region in Southeastern Deir Ezzur were coordinated, adding that they
"will stop their anti-ISIL operations for a long time".
SDF withdrew from the borders with Iraq after the US fighter jets did not
support them in recent attacks by the ISIL against their positions in
Southeastern Deir Ezzur.
the Turkish army launched artillery attacks on Kurdish positions at the
bordering areas of Raqqa and Aleppo, leaving several SDF forces dead and
sources in Eastern Syria had disclosed last week that the US forces' backup for
ISIL had enabled the terrorists to recapture the entire lands they had lost to
the SDF in Eastern Deir Ezzur in the last 2 months.
Arabic-language website of RT quoted the sources as disclosing that in complete
absence of the US-led coalition forces to support the Washington-backed SDF to
counter ISIL's heavy offensive, the terrorists managed to recapture the small
but key towns of al-Sousah and al-Baqouz in Southeastern Deir Ezzur.
affiliated to the Kurdish forces reported on Wednesday that a big military
convoy, consisting of a large number of advanced US-made weapons and equipment,
was sent from the bordering passageway of Simalka to the town of Qamishli near
the borders between Hasaka and Turkey.
added that the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) are due to use the weapons in
battles against Turkey's invasion of Eastern Euphrates.
Turkish army had on Wednesday targeted Kobani region in Aleppo and Tal Abyadh
region in Northern Raqqa at the borders with Syria.
that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan grew disappointed at Washington's
promises on the Manbij agreement, and Ankara decided to engage in clashes with
the Kurds in Eastern Euphrates.
local and Kurdish sources in Ein al-Arab (Kobani) in Eastern Euphrates reported
that Turkey intends to gain full control over the region to later advance to
other regions controlled by the Kurds in Eastern Euphrates.
Kurdish-language Hawar News reported on Thursday that Ferqat al-Hamzeh, Sultan
Murad, Faylaq al-Sham, Ahrar al-Sham and other terrorist groups in Afrin have
cut the forest trees in the villages and jungles.
added that a large number of the trees have been sent to Turkey, while several
other cargoes have been sold to the Syrian dealers.
terrorists also cut off and stole olive trees in different parts of Afrin after
to the report, militants have started imposing their rule over new regions in
Afrin, including Tal Haloubiyeh in Shara region and a hill between the village
of Marateh and Bablit in Central Afrin, starting measures to extract artifacts
militants have intensified plundering historical artifact in occupied Afrin
media outlet reported in October that the militants were also putting children
under custody in Northwestern Aleppo to force their family to pay for their
Kurdish-language Hawar news reported that Ankara-backed militias had started
excavation operations in Tal Haloubiyeh after looting historical artifacts in
Qala Nabi Houri in Afrin.
further said that Turkey-backed militants have conducted excavation operations
in Tal Andara, Tal Jandaris and other historical sites in Akbas square and
Albikaseh region in Rajou, adding that the under-excavation sites are on the
verge of complete destruction.
Syrian army troops engaged in fierce clashes with Tahrir al-Sham and Horras
al-Din militants who had launched heavy attacks from the demilitarized zone on
army positions in Tal Sukriyeh-Abu Qamis region in West of Abu al-Zohour,
killing and wounding several terrorists and forcing others to withdraw.
the army attacked the terrorists' positions with artillery fire, a military
source said, adding that a group of Tahrir al-Sham terrorists were also
entrapped and killed in the army's booby trap in Tal Sukriyeh.
al-Sham and its allies have not yet withdrawn from their positions in the
arms-free zone declared under the Sochi agreement between Ankara and Moscow.
senior Syrian military source revealed on Tuesday that the country's army was
likely to start military operations against the terrorists in the weapons-free
zone as the latter continued deployment in the region.
Arabic-language website of Sputnik news agency quoted the source as saying that
given Turkey's failure to implement its undertakings based on the Sochi
agreement with Russia, the Syrian army will kick off military operations
against the terrorists in the demilitarized zone if they continue attacks
against the army positions.
Turkish-language website of Yeni Safak, quoting sources, reported on Wednesday
that the US troops have been directly delivering material and technical
assistance to terrorists in the town of al-Mansourah, which is located in the
Northern Syrian province of Raqqah.
large cache of US-made weapons, specifically shells and ammunition, was also
dispatched to the al-Tanf border crossing with Jordan, which lies at the
ultra-strategic intersection of the Syrian, Iraqi, and Jordanian borders, it added.
US, which has a military base in Tanf, is believed to be regularly training
terrorists in the area.
report also said that a US-backed group comprising ethnic Kurds and Arabs have
been delivering weapons and material for the US forces.
sources said that the weapons worth billions of dollars, adding that the ISIL
has received the weapons by giving the Americans a large amount of stolen gold
and antiques from Syria and Iraq.
also disclosed that the US commanders in Syria have seized a large number of
these antiques for themselves, adding that the ISIL advance in Palmyra in Homs
province was also made with the help of the US weapons.
sources in Northern Aleppo reported on Thursday that the Turkish forces have
targeted the villages of Kour Ali, Salim and Ashmeh in Western Ein al-Arab
(Koubani) at the borders with Turkey with tanks and artillery fire, killing 4
and wounding 6 Kurdish forces.
Hawar News reported that the Kurdish forces attacked the Turkish army positions
at the borders with Syria, destroying one of their military vehicles near the
village of Salim.
added that tensions have increased between the two sides at the borders, noting
that the Turkish army launched heavy offensive on the villages of Salib Qaran,
Tal Fandar, Sousak and Yabeseh near the town of Tal Abyadh at the borders with
Turkey in Raqqa province.
the Kurds sent a military cargo of forces, weapons and military equipment from
Ra'as al-Ein in Northwestern Hasaka to Tal Abyadh in Northern Raqqa.
sources reported on Wednesday that the Kurdish militia had gone on alert in
Hasaka province at the border with Turkey after Ankara forces intensified
attacks on Kurdish positions in more regions in Northern Syria.
sources said that the Turkish army's mortar units pounded the Kurdish militias'
positions in a border-crossing near the town of Tal Abyadh in Northern Raqqa.
further said that an SDF gunman was killed and another one war injured in the
the meantime, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) kept forces on alert in the
town of Ra'as al-Ein in Northwestern Hasaka at the border with Turkey.
has several times in the last week threatened the Kurds of military operation.
Russian Foreign Ministry commented on the news that Moscow knew what happened
to the dead Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and provided information to
Turkey, saying that the issue was exaggerated by a huge amount of intrigues and
country has announced from the first day that it is necessary to take one step:
to conduct a thorough and impartial investigation,”
ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told a news conference on Thursday.
response to a request to comment on social networking sites and some media
outlets that Russian intelligence knew what had happened and provided
information to Turkish intelligence, she
said: “It is frightening that this tragedy is
magnified with so much
political machinations and fabrications that we see today”.
stressed that there were “a huge number of leaks” about the
circumstances of the killing of the Saudi journalist despite the lack of
official data on the issue.
on Thursday killed four pro-regime fighters in Idlib province, the rebel
stronghold where Russia and Turkey have agreed to set up a buffer zone, a
northwestern province is the last major area still outside regime control,
after a string of ferocious assaults this year put most of the country back in
ally Russia and rebel backer Turkey agreed to establish the buffer zone in
was due to come into force in mid-October but some clauses of the plan have
been delayed, as repeated clashes erupted between extremists, rebels and
dawn on Thursday, extremists from Hayat Tahrir al-Sham, a faction led by former
Al-Qaeda fighters, attacked a government position in the east of the province,
said the Britain based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
regime fighters were killed in the assault, and a member of HTS also died,”
said Observatory director Rami Abdel Rahman.
is an ongoing exchange of artillery fire between the two parties”
in land that is part of the planned demilitarized zone, he added.
agreement between Russia and Turkey to create the buffer zone was aimed at
staving off a government military assault on the province.
set out under the deal, rebel groups announced they had withdrawn heavy
artillery from the zone, but extremists including HTS refused to leave the
fire by regime forces killed at least seven civilians in Idlib on Friday last week,
the Observatory said.
Foreign Minister Walid Muallem expressed dissatisfaction this week with the
implementation of the agreement, and criticized
Turkey for shortcomings.
are still present in this sector with their heavy weapons,”
he was quoted as saying by the official SANA news agency on Monday, referring
to the buffer zone.
indicates that Turkey does not want to respect its obligations,”
says Lebanon gov’t row ‘not easy’, signals differences
President Michel Aoun said on Wednesday the differences blocking a deal over a
new national unity government were “not easy” and signaled he was at odds with his ally
Hezbollah over the last outstanding issue.
months since an election, prime minister-designate Saad al-Hariri has been
unable to clinch a deal on the new government because of the competing demands
of rival parties for cabinet seats that are parceled out along sectarian lines.
deal seemed close on Monday when a row over Christian representation was
settled with the anti-Hezbollah Christian Lebanese Forces ceding ground to Aoun
and his Free Patriotic Movement, which is allied to Hezbollah.
Hezbollah, a powerful armed group backed by Iran, is pressing its demand for
one of its Sunni allies to be given a portfolio in the 30-seat cabinet to
reflect gains they made in the May 6 parliamentary election.
in a televised interview, said obstacles “are being created that are not proper and
the demand of the Hezbollah-backed Sunnis, he said: “This
matter caused the delay, and this delay is a type of political tactic that is
hurting our big
said the Hezbollah-backed Sunnis amounted to “individuals,
not a bloc” and had gathered together “recently” to make their demand for a
Lebanon’s main Sunni leader, has ruled out ceding one of his cabinet seats to the Hezbollah-allied
possible way out of the problem would be for Aoun to name one of the Hezbollah
allies among a group of ministers allocated to him. But Aoun gave no indication
he was willing to do so in the interview marking the second anniversary of his
becoming president - a post reserved for a Maronite Christian.
said he wanted a strong prime minister, and not to weaken Hariri.
Hariri lost more than a third of his seats in the parliamentary election, many
of them to the Hezbollah allies.
attempt to smuggle six fugitives wanted on terrorism charges out of Bahrain by
boat was foiled, the Bahraini ministry of interior announced on Thursday night.
boat was equipped to carry the fugitives and sail out from the Samaheej coast,
a statement by the ministry read.
revealed that one of the arrestees was in contact with another fugitive from a
terrorist cell based in Iran, who organized the smuggling operation. Investigations
also led to identifying and arresting some individuals suspected of sheltering
and assisting the six fugitives, the ministry added.
General Directorate of Criminal Investigation and Forensic Science in Bahrain
has taken legal proceedings to refer the fugitives to the public prosecution.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has met with a delegation of pro-Israeli
advocates in Riyadh amid reports that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
has asked the US to keep supporting the young prince against international
a new sign of growing ties between Riyadh and Tel Aviv, bin Salman hosted a
group of Evangelical Christians in Riyadh on Thursday, Israeli media reported.
the group was Joel C. Rosenberg, a dual US-Israeli author and activist who runs
the Jashua Fund pro-Israeli charity. Mike Evans, founder of the Friends of Zion
Museum in Jerusalem al-Quds, was also among the participants of the meeting.
two sides discussed a wide range of topics including Israel, Palestine and
Saudi Arabia’s relations with the US.
were pleased by the invitation extended to us more than two months ago by the
kingdom of Saudi Arabia," the delegation said in a statement.
"Without question, this is a season of tremendous change in the Middle
East, and therefore we have been grateful for the opportunity to meet in-person
with key Arab leaders to understand their goals and to ask direct questions.”
delegation held separate meetings with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir as
well as the kingdom’s ministers of education and Islamic
they also met the heads of Saudi Arabia’s so-called Global Center for Combating
Extremist Ideology (Etidal) and the Muslim World League.
meetings came shortly after The Washington Post revealed in a report earlier in
the day that Netanyahu has asked US President Donald Trump to continue
supporting MBS despite accusations that he ordered a hit job on anti-Riyadh
journalist Jamal Khashoggi last month.
Israeli PM had asked top US officials recently not to abandon their support for
bin Salman over the killing of Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Turkey’s
Istanbul, according to multiple reports.
to The Washington Post, Netanyahu has specifically told the White House that
the crown prince is a key strategic partner and a linchpin of the US-Israeli
front against Iran's regional influence.
Arabia does not officially recognize Israel and has no formal ties with the
regime. However, the two sides have been widely reported to have cooperated
secretly for years.
says Nusra terrorists seek to wreck buffer zone deal in Syria’s
says Takfiri terrorists in Syria’s Idlib province are striving to wreck a
Russian-Turkish initiative to establish a demilitarized zone in the flashpoint militant-held region.
are still Nusra terrorists in Idlib who are not stopping their attempts to
wreck the implementation of the memorandum that was agreed between Russia and
Turkey,” Interfax news agency quoted Russian Foreign Ministry
Zakharova as saying during a news briefing in the capital Moscow on Thursday.
60 percent of the northwestern province, home to three million people, is said
to be controlled by members of the so-called Hayat Tahrir al-Sham Takfiri
terrorist group, which is a coalition of different factions of terror outfits,
largely composed of the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham Takfiri terrorist group, formerly
known as al-Nusra Front.
added that terrorists were continuing to shell Syrian government troops in the
south of the province and to the northwest of Hama province.
the deal, which was forged in the Black Sea resort city of Sochi in September
following a meeting between Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his
Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, all armed opposition groups in the
demilitarized zone, which surrounds Idlib and also parts of the adjacent
provinces of Aleppo and Hama, were supposed to pull out heavy arms by October
10, and Takfiri groups had to withdraw by October 15.
Hayat Tahrir al-Sham Takfiri terrorist group has yet to announce its stance on
the buffer zone deal.
which has been carrying out anti-terror airstrikes in Syria since 2015, says a
buffer zone would help stop attacks from Idlib-based militants on Syrian army
positions and Russia's military bases in the flashpoint region.
month, Russia said that almost 88,000 foreign-sponsored Takfiri terrorists had
been killed in the Syria ever since Moscow launched its counter-terrorism
airstrikes against militant redoubts in the Arab country.
a US-led military coalition has also been conducting airstrikes against what
are said to be Daesh targets inside Syria since September 2014 without any
authorization from the Damascus government or a UN mandate.
military alliance has repeatedly been accused of targeting and killing
civilians. It has also been largely incapable of achieving its declared goal of
governor survives assassination attempt
governor of Iraq’s central province of Salahuddin has
escaped a roadside bomb explosion unhurt as government forces and allied
fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units are engaged in joint operations to cleanse the
country of the last remnants of the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.
Khalil al-Bazi from Salahuddin Operations Command said the blast ripped through
the convoy of Ammar Jabr Khalil al-Jabouri north of the oil-rich city of Baiji,
located some 210 kilometers north of the capital Baghdad, on Thursday.
said the explosion wounded two bodyguards of the governor and badly damaged a
vehicle in the motorcade.
group has claimed responsibility for the attack yet, but some local news
outlets suggest it was carried out by Daesh.
August 8, 2016, former Iraqi defense minister Khaled al-Obeidi's convoy came
under sniper fire but he was unharmed.
General Yahya Rasool, the spokesman for the Iraqi Joint Operations Command
(JOC), said the attack took place in the western outskirts of Baiji.
minister is well and safe,” Rasool said, adding that a guard had
been slightly injured in the attack.
was no immediate claim of responsibility for the assassination attempt.
al-Sha’abi fighters kill 11 Daesh remnants in western Iraq
pro-government Iraqi fighters from the Popular Mobilization Units, better known
by the Arabic name Hashd al-Sha’abi,
have killed nearly a dozen Daesh militants in the country’s
troubled western province of Anbar.
al-Sha’abi commander Safa al-Sa’adi said the voluntary fighters and
army forces, backed by air force fighter jets, carried out a cleanup operation
on the outskirts
of Tharthar town, situated 120 kilometers north of Baghdad, killing 11
terrorists and destroying an amount of weapons and explosive materials.
added that the slain Takfiris were planning to carry out a bombing attack in
Daesh militants, including senior commander, killed in Diyala
three Daesh militants, including a high-ranking commander, have been killed
during a security operation in Iraq’s eastern province of Diyala.
forces launched a security operation, under the directives of Diyala Police
Chief Major General Faisal al-Abadi, to pursue Daesh cells near Qarah Tabbah
district,” Arabic-language Mawazin news agency
quoted the spokesman for Diyala Police, Colonel Ghalib al-Attiya, as saying.
June 30, former Iraqi prime minister Haider al-Abadi, who is also the
commander-in-chief of Iraqi forces, pledged to hunt down Daesh militants across
Iraq after a series of attacks and abductions carried out by the terrorist
will chase the remaining cells of terrorism in their hideouts and we will kill
them, we will chase them everywhere, in the mountains and the desert,”
declared the end of military operations against Daesh in the Arab country on
December 9, 2017.
July 10 that year, the Iraqi prime minister had formally declared victory over
Daesh extremists in Mosul, which served as the terrorists’
main urban stronghold in the conflict-ridden Arab country.
the run-up to Mosul's liberation, Iraqi army soldiers and volunteer Hashd
al-Sha’abi fighters had made sweeping gains against Daesh.
Iraqi forces took control of eastern Mosul in January 2017 after 100 days of
fighting, and launched the battle in the west on February 19 last year.
- US President Donald Trump and his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan
discussed the Syrian conflict during a phone call on Thursday, the Turkish
presidency said in a statement. The statement was released not long after it
was announced that Turkish and American troops had begun conducting joint
patrols in the northern Syrian city of Manbij.
leaders discussed the cooperation agreement in Manbij, which is held by a
US-backed Kurdish militia that Turkey deems a terrorist group, the statement
said. They also spoke of Idlib, the last major area in Syria still outside the
control of the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, where a demilitarised zone
has been planned.
presidents agreed to maintain “close contact” and maintained their
“determination” to “further
strengthen bilateral relations”, according to the statement.
Washington’s support of the Kurdish People’s Protection Units (YPG) militia in
the fight against the Islamic State group in Syria.
strained already tense relations between NATO allies Turkey and the US.
considers the YPG to be a “terrorist offshoot” of the Kurdistan
Workers’ Party (PKK), which has waged a bloody insurgency in Turkey since 1984
with the goal of forming an independent Kurdish state.
ease ties, the countries agreed to a road map in June that included the YPG
withdrawing from Manbij and establishing the joint patrols in the city.
Turkey has repeatedly threatened a new offensive in northern Syria and has
shelled YPG positions there in the past couple of days.
US-led coalition against IS said on Thursday it was working to “de-escalate”
fighting between Turkey and the Kurdish militia.
protest leaders are calling for calmer border demonstrations Friday to give a
chance to efforts to reach a long-term truce with Israel after months of deadly
unrest, a source in the organizing committee said.
previous such hopes for a deal have been dashed since protests and clashes
along the border between Israel and the blockaded Gaza Strip began on March 30.
was not clear if demonstrators would heed calls for calm.
and UN officials have been engaged in indirect talks between Hamas, the
Islamist movement that runs the Gaza Strip, and Israel.
Egyptian delegation was in Gaza on Thursday for further discussions.
events will be quiet,” an official from the committee in charge of organizing the marches told AFP
Thursday, on condition of anonymity.
committee is technically independent from Hamas, but includes representatives
allied to the Islamist movement.
official said the agreement to quieten the border Friday “will
give an opportunity
for the success of the Egyptian efforts to (achieve) calm and lift the siege.”
would still go ahead, he said, but demonstrators would be encouraged not to
approach the fence too closely, burn tires or send balloons equipped with
incendiary devices across the border.
Palestinians died in renewed clashes along the border last Friday.
often violent protests began on March 30, at least 218 Palestinians have been
killed by Israeli fire.
Israeli soldier has been killed by a Palestinian sniper.
are calling for Palestinian refugees to be allowed to return to the homes their
families fled or were expelled from in the 1948 war surrounding the creation of
Israel and which are now inside the Jewish state.
President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Donald Trump discussed Manbij
and Idlib in northern Syria in a call on Thursday and stressed their
determination to strengthen ties, Erdogan’s office said.
and US forces began joint patrols on Thursday in the Manbij region, a source of
friction in recent years after Kurdish forces took part of the area in a
US-backed offensive to drive out ISIS extremist group in 2016.
President and US President Trump stressed their determination to take constructive
steps towards strengthening US-Turkey bilateral relations further,”
the statement said, while also referring to developments in Syria’s Idlib
which has long backed militants seeking to overthrow Syrian President Bashar
al-Assad, and Russia, Assad’s principal foreign ally, brokered a deal
in September to create a demilitarised zone in Idlib.
Arab Coalition in Yemen carried out a number of military operations in the
al-Dulaimi air base in Sanaa, which was being used by Houthi militias to launch
drone and ballistic missile attacks, Coalition spokesman Turki al-Maliki said
airbase is located near Sanaa International Airport, but aviation at the
airport and international aid efforts were not affected, Maliki added.
operation targeted launching and storage sites of ballistic missiles, ground
control stations for drones, and assembly and support sites for the air base in
pointed out that the operation came after a precise intelligence process to
monitor the activities of the Houthi militias with the aim of destroying and
neutralizing such capabilities that threaten regional and international
government welcomes efforts to establish
Yemeni legitimate government on Thursday welcomed all efforts to bring peace to
government said in a statement: “The statements made by a number of
countries during the past few days, which urge the importance of pushing efforts to reach a
political solution, according to the three agreed terms, are consistent with
the desire of the political leadership headed by President Abedrabbo Mansour
Hadi and his government for peace and an end to the suffering of the Yemeni
people as a result of the coup of the Iranian Houthi militias.”
statement which was carried by the state-run SABA news agency further added
that in this context the Yemeni government support the efforts of the UN
special envoy Martin Griffiths.
Defense Secretary Jim Mattis called on Tuesday for an end to the Yemen war.
government added: “The government of Yemen is ready to
immediately launch talks on the process of confidence-building, primarily the
release of all detainees and prisoners,
as well as those who have been abducted or subject to enforced disappearance,
strengthening the capabilities of the Central Bank of Yemen, which is
internationally recognized, and forcing the Houthis to transfer state revenues
in their areas of control to the Central Bank to enable it to control the
financial and economic situation and the payment of salaries of civil servants.”
also added: “Confidence-building measures include the
opening of airports in accordance with the steps and procedures to ensure safety and ensure the United
Nations control of the Hodeidah port in order that the provisions of the
relevant international resolutions related to access to prohibited weapons and
ballistic missiles smuggled from Iran to the Houthi militias and to
humanitarian aid, lifting the blockade on civilians in Taiz, ensuring
non-aggression and preventing theft from the warehouses of international
organizations, as happened with the World Food Program warehouses in Hodeidah.”
talks broke down in 2016, when 108 days of negotiations in Kuwait between the
government of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi and the Houthi militias failed
to lead to a deal.
government emphasizes the three agreed political solutions. It also stresses
that the outcomes of the National Dialogue Conference and the draft of the new
Yemeni constitution have clearly defined the new state, which the Yemenis agree
to, a federal state that is far from central in accordance with the principles
of justice, equal citizenship and good governance.
minister for military affairs Avigdor Lieberman reportedly plans to approve the
construction of a new settlement in the Old City of al-Khalil (Hebron), south
of the occupied West Bank.
new settlement is to be established in an old Palestinian vegetables market in
the Old City, Israeli news outlets reported on Thursday.
in the center of al-Khalil -- one of the largest cities in the occupied West
Bank -- the Old City was divided into Palestinian and Israeli-controlled areas,
known as H1 and H2, following the Ibrahimi Mosque massacre in 1994.
approval will come a few weeks after the Israeli regime approved plans for the
construction of 31 new settler units in the occupied West Bank.
Now, an Israeli anti-settlement group that monitors settlement activity in the
West Bank, said last month that the units will be built in al-Khalil, located
30 kilometers (19 miles) south of Jerusalem al-Quds.
the first time in more than 20 years, Hebron will have a new Jewish
neighborhood where a military camp once stood,” Lieberman
said on October 14.
establishment of the new settlements comes in grave contravention of
international law and a United Nations Security Council resolution against the
Tel Aviv regime’s land grab policies in the occupied Palestinian territories.
than a month before US President Donald Trump took office, the United Nations
Security Council adopted Resolution 2334, calling on Israel to “immediately
and completely cease all settlement activities in the occupied Palestinian territories, including
East Jerusalem” al-Quds.
on Thursday morning, Israeli bulldozers razed lands and uprooted olive trees in
Palestinian lands adjacent to the Israeli illegal settlement of Avnei Hefetz in
the northern occupied West Bank district of Tulkarem, Palestinian news agency
Avnei Hefetz settlement was built on Palestinian-owned lands of the villages
and towns of Shufa, Kafr al-Labad and Kafa.
Tahsin Hamed reported that Israeli bulldozers razed Palestinian-owned lands in
the Shufa village in southeastern Tulkatem, in preparation for settlement
pointed out that the village is currently wall-to-wall with the settlement and
is continuously facing land-razing for the expansion of the Avnei Hefetz
on October 11, the Israeli forces had bulldozed two more Palestinian houses in
al-Halawa neighborhood in the south of al-Khalil.
600,000 Israelis live in over 230 illegal settlements built since the 1967
Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East
says it wants Saudi authorities to disclose the whereabouts of the body of
dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered in the Arab
kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul last month, stressing that Ankara
expects Riyadh’s full cooperation in the ongoing investigation into the
are looking for answers to the question of where the body is,”
Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul in a press conference on Thursday, stressing
that no cover-up should be included in the Saudi narrative.
case cannot be covered up, and we are expecting close cooperation from Saudi
authorities on the investigation we are conducting transparently and
meticulously,” the justice minister noted.
59, an outspoken critic of Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed
bin Salman, had been living in self-imposed exile in the United States since 2017, when Saudi authorities
launched a massive crackdown on dissent.
was seeking to secure documentation for his forthcoming marriage when he
entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, but never came out
despite Riyadh’s initial claim that he exited the mission less than
an hour after completing his paperwork.
kingdom, however, later admitted that the journo had been murdered in the
consulate during an interrogation by rouge operatives that had gone wrong after
diplomatic pressure grew tremendously on Riyadh to give an account on the
mysterious fate of its national. However, Saudi Arabia said that it did not
know the whereabouts of the journo’s body, which is widely believed to be
comments came just a day after the office
of Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor Irfan Fidan said in a statement that ill-fated
Khashoggi was strangled upon his arrival in the Saudi diplomatic mission in
Istanbul, then his body was dismembered and destroyed in a “premeditated”
murder. The remarks bolstered
Turkish investigators’ line of thought that the journo’s
remains could have been disposed of at the nearby consul general’s house,
dissolved in acid or dumped in a well on the property.
statement issued after Fidan said his meeting with Saudi Public Prosecutor Saud
al-Mojeb, held earlier in the week in Istanbul, had produced “no
concrete results” on the murder of Khashoggi as his counterpart had not shared
any information, including the testimonies of the 18 people arrested in the
Arab kingdom, over
justice minister further said that Ankara wanted Riyadh to reveal who gave the
orders for a 15-member alleged “hit squad” that Turkish authorities said
were sent to kill the journalist. “Our expectation is for these questions to be
answered swiftly,” Gul
whether Fidan planned to visit Saudi Arabia as part of the ongoing probe into
the case, Gul said that it was “likely not happening because the incident
occurred in Turkey.”
Turkey's questions answered, I think it is not right to enter into a new stage,”
Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the Israeli spy agency’s
“false flags” will fail to hurt Tehran’s ties with the world, apparently
referring to Mossad’s role in a diplomatic
row between Iran and Denmark.
a tweet from Pakistan on Wednesday, Zarif said, “Mossad’s
perverse & stubborn planting of false flags (more on this later) only
strengthens our resolve to engage constructively with the world.”
top Iranian diplomat -- who was in Islamabad following his trilateral talks in
Istanbul with his Azeri and Turkish opposite numbers -- further praised Iran’s
“solid relations” with its neighbors.
relations w/neighbors our priority,” Zarif said in the tweet, which also carried photos of his
meetings in Turkey and Pakistan.
tweet comes amid a diplomatic standoff between Tehran and Copenhagen over the
latter’s claims that Iran had tried to carry out an assassination
plot on Danish soil, an allegation Tehran has sharply rejected.
security police also said a Norwegian citizen of Iranian descent had been
arrested on October 21 in connection with the alleged plot and extradited to
recalled its ambassador from Tehran and said that it was consulting with other
European countries about how to respond. Tehran also summoned the Danish
ambassador to Tehran to voice its protest.
media later revealed that Mossad had provided Denmark with “intelligence”
concerning the alleged plot by Tehran.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was also quick to “congratulate”
the Danish government on the arrest.
has dismissed Denmark’s claims as “rash, politicized,” with
Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qassemi saying Wednesday that “invisible
hands” were at
work to damage Iran’s ties with Europe at the time when the
two sides are closely cooperating to save the 2015 multilateral nuclear deal
following the US’s pullout.
also said such reports are the continuation of conspiracies hatched by known
enemies who are against growing Iran-Europe relations at the current sensitive
a similar claim back in June, the Israeli spy agency said it had helped “foil”
an alleged Iranian bomb attack on a meeting of the terrorist Mujahedin Khalq
in Paris. An Iranian diplomat, based in Austria, was arrested in Germany on the
false charges of being linked to the suspected attack.
US in unison to kill Iran deal'
on its tweet, Zarif on Thursday listed a series of concurrent measures taken by
the United States and Israel against Iran proves that the US administration and
the Israeli regime are acting in union to terminate the 2015 nuclear deal,
officially known as the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA).
another tweet, the Iranian foreign minister called into question the
possibility of mere coincidence between anti-Iran measures taken by the US and
Israel, noting that such measures were aimed to “kill the
talks in Pakistan
Islamabad, Zarif sat down with new Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Foreign
Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed
held talks with Pakistani officials about the fate of the Iranian forces who
were abducted by Pakistan-based terrorists near the two countries' joint border
earlier in October.
with the so-called Jaish ul-Adl terrorist group abducted 12 Iranian forces in
the southeastern province of Sistan and Baluchestan, and spirited them away
into neighboring Pakistan.
New Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic Website, African
Muslim News, Arab
World News, South
Asia News, Indian
Muslim News, World
Muslim News, Women
in Islam, Islamic
In Arab, Islamophobia
in America, Muslim
Women in West, Islam
Women and Feminism