Plays Too Big a Role in the Lives Of Young Arabs, Survey Reveals
Appears In IS Video After 5 Years, Hails Lanka Blasts
Pressed To Punish Saudi Arabia over Religious Intolerance
Army Veteran Who Converted To Islam Plotted White Supremacist Rally Bombing To
Avenge Mosque Attacks: Police
Chief Demands That the World Step Up To Stamp out Hatred
Says Ready to Take Indian Journalists to Balakot
Won’t Block Global Terrorist Tag for Masood Azhar: Sources Ahead Of UN Meet
Nabs Duo for Insulting Islam, Prophet Muhammad and Wife on Facebook
Condemns Revenge Ideology Of IS
MP Slams US for Creating Safe Zone for ISIL at Iraq-Syria Border
Using Dahlan to Interfere in Palestine, Launch Coup against Mahmoud Abbas
SDF Releases Hundreds of Foreign ISIL Terrorists in Raqqa
vows to expel terrorists out of Syria's Idlib
ISIS Leaders To Be ‘Delivered Justice’ After Al-Baghdadi Videotape
Pompeo blames Iran for Yemen's civil war
trying to confirm authenticity of Baghdadi video
Foreign Minister ‘Proud’ To Recognize Palestine
Minister Provokes Controversy with Comments Equating Europe to ISIS
Zealand police respond to undisclosed incident in Christchurch
far-right makes election gains using anti-Muslim sentiment
links investigated as France arrests four over suspected terror attack plot
Help Christians Renovate Iconic Pakistan Cathedral
to Mainstream Madrasas, Bring Them under Govt Control: Army Spokesperson
army cracks whip on Pashtun body, drags in India’s RAW
Pakistan discuss trade ties, Afghan peace
security men martyred in North Waziristan attacks
demands evidence against TLP’s Khadim Rizvi
Militants Planning another Wave Of Attacks: SL
found fertile ground in Sri Lankan hometown of radical preacher
Lanka maintains high alert for attacks ahead of Ramadan
Suicide Blast Kills 2 Suspected Militants, RAB Says
Special Forces arrest prominent Taliban spy in Kabul
Taliban militants killed in Uruzgan, Ghazni, and Nangarhar airstrikes
Special Forces destroy multiple weapons during an operation in Wardak
extends arms sanctions against Myanmar over Rohingya
Activists Express Solidarity with Christians Killed In Sri Lanka
bullied under current government, says Perlis mufti
automatic citizenship for those born in Malaysia, says Muhyiddin
must be middle ground to avoid ‘toxic politics’, Khairy says
Attack Church in Burkina Faso, Five Killed
Military, Opposition Discuss Powers of Joint Council, Say Sources
warns of deteriorating humanitarian crisis in Libya
Advises Against Multiple Hajj Trips Over Saudi Crimes
air strikes kill four, wound 37: government
Warned Against Aiding Al-Shabaab Operatives
Muslims Condemn Terror Attacks In Sri Lanka
module busted in Jammu and Kashmir’s Awantipora, four arrested: Police
ISIS suspect inspired by Sri Lanka bombing plotter caught: NIA
arrests Palakkad resident for planning suicide attack in Kerala
arrests Kerala man for being in touch with ISIS inspired module
Palestinian Authority Faces Risk of Financial Collapse
Authority Refuses Tax Revenues after Israel Cuts
attorney general gives Netanyahu ultimatum on graft hearing
UN envoy: Golan will remain integral part of Syria
airstrikes kill over dozen Kurdish PKK terrorists in northern Iraq
forces shoot, injure Palestinian man in occupied West Bank
returns Yemeni families to villages liberated from Houthi militias
by New Age Islam News Bureau
plays too big a role in the lives of young Arabs, survey reveals
Young Arabs believe religion plays too big a role in their lives and want their
religious institutions reformed, according to the latest annual survey of
attitudes of young people in the Middle East and North Africa.
Saudi citizens also believe overwhelmingly that the Kingdom - under the Vision
2030 strategy - is heading in the right direction, and that its economy is on
track, the ASDA’A BCW Arab Youth Survey, unveiled today, reveals.
Saudis demonstrate optimism in their personal future, with three quarters of
those polled saying that they will have a better life than their parents, and
only 10 per cent expecting to be worse off.
11th annual survey is based on 3,300 interviews with Arabs between the ages of
18-24, split equally between men and women, in January this year.
the most eye-catching finding in the 2019 survey is that young Arabs seem to
want a reduced role for religion in their lives. Some 66 per cent of those
polled said that religion plays too big a role, with an even bigger number - 79
per cent - calling for reform of their religion’s institutions.
findings come as the Arab News series “Preachers of Hate” explored the
destructive influence religious extremists have had on society.
said religion was holding the region back, while nearly the same proportion
said religion was losing its influence in the region - a finding especially
pronounced in North Africa and the Levant.
Arabs are also increasingly tired of war and civil strife. A big majority -
nearly three quarters - believe the war in Syria should end regardless of the
regime in power there. But another big majority remain concerned about the
Palestine-Israel conflict. Nearly 60 percent believe that Sunni-Shia relations
have deteriorated over the past ten years.
international relations, 59 percent view the USA as an enemy, while 37 percent
see Russia as a strong ally, almost as many view America the same say (38
of those polled - around 60 percent - say the murder of Jamal Khashoggi would
have no or only temporary impact on Saudi Arabia’s image around the world.
young Arabs think the rising cost of living is the biggest obstacle facing the
Middle East, and many - 65 percent - say they want their governments to do more
for them, especially in education and healthcare.
survey also included for the first time questions about youth attitudes to
drugs and mental illness, with a large number of respondents saying that
illegal drug use was on the rise and drugs were easy to obtain. Mental health
is an increasingly important issue, with nearly one third saying they knew
someone who was suffering from mental health problems.
John, president of Asda’a BCW, said: “This year’s findings show that youths are
looking at their governments to reshuffle their priorities, especially when it
comes to the role played by religion and seemingly endless conflicts – and they
want to see change.
Arabs who have grown up against a backdrop of extremism and geopolitical
conflicts are tired of the region being defined by war and conflict. They say
they want their leaders to focus on the economy and providing better services
such as quality education and healthcare.”
appears in IS video after 5 years, hails Lanka blasts
DELHI: A week after Islamic State owned up to deadly bombings in Sri Lanka that
killed over 250 people and injured over 500, the outfit’s elusive chief, Abu
Bakr Al-Baghdadi, sprung a surprise by appearing in a video on Monday evening,
nearly five years after he was last seen.
the 18-minute video, released by Al Furqan Foundation, Baghdadi mentions the
Sri Lanka blasts apart from the end of the “war” in the Syrian town of Beghuz.
This indicates the video was filmed recently as the references are intended to
establish that the clip is not an old recording.
is also seen presiding over jihadis from several countries as they take the
oath of allegiance to the IS and its chief.
release of the video is significant as it seems to confirm that Baghdadi is
alive and controlling the outfit’s operations. There had been multiple rumours
floating about his death in air strikes. It appears that even after the drastic
shrinkage of territory under IS control, the top jihadi continues to operate
from his secret location.
taped message is clearly intended to bolster IS recruits and fighters, and
demonstrate the terror group’s capacity to pose a serious security threat to
countries across much of the world. In the video, Baghdadi appears to have aged
a bit but seems in good health and alert in his address to assembled followers.
in intelligence agencies said the video was credible as it was released by Al
Furqan, which is considered to be the core media group of the outfit. Baghdadi,
whose real name is Ibrahim Awwad Ibrahim Al Badri, was last seen on video while
giving a speech from the Al Nuri mosque in Mosul in 2014. That was his last
public appearance as well.
August last year, Al Furqan had released a 55-minute audio speech purportedly
given by Baghdadi in which he asked his followers to keep the fight going in
Iraq and Syria. This audio was released after reports indicated that he may
have been killed in a Russian air strike in May last year in Syria’s Raqqa.
intelligence agencies as well as the Indian intelligence network are carefully
evaluating Baghdadi’s speech as they say it could have repercussions on global
jihad. “This video might act as a booster to the Islamic State which is losing
the battle on the ground. The video can be used for radicalisation by splinter
and IS-inspired groups in India and abroad,” an intelligence officer said.
IS took responsibility for the Sri Lanka bombings two days after the attack and
released a statement through its mouthpiece Amaq. Four days later, IS published
a “special report” on the attacks in the latest issue of its weekly newsletter,
Al Naba. The report said the targets were Christians and “Coalition citizens”.
time the crusaders think they have imposed their influence and stolen the abode
of Islam, the conquerors appear in another region in a war brought on by the
sons of the Khilafah and their leaders. To rival the enemy... frustrate him in
every part of the world and drain his energy and capabilities,” the ‘editors’
of the magazine had written.
pressed to punish Saudi Arabia over religious intolerance
federal panel led in part by conservative Christians close to the Donald Trump
administration is pressing the president to penalize Saudi Arabia over for its
religious discrimination following the mass execution of 37 prisoners, most of
them members of the kingdom’s minority Shiite population.
bipartisan US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today
rolled out its annual report, which makes recommendations to the State
Department ahead of its own report on the issue, to be released later in the
year. Today’s report calls on Trump to lift a waiver that has allowed Saudi
Arabia to escape penalties from its designation as a “country of particular
concern” for more than a decade.
encouraging this administration to be more forceful in following these
recommendations,” Tony Perkins, a USCIRF commissioner and president of the
conservative Family Research Council, told Al-Monitor. “There were some
positive developments … but these recent events that have occurred really
dashed those hopes.”
also called on the State Department to lift the waiver in last year’s report.
year’s report, which was written before the executions, cites a handful of
positive developments, such as lifting the ban on women driving, less strict
enforcement of male guardianship laws, more aggressive efforts to counter
extremist ideology and a USCIRF meeting with the Saudi Commission for the
Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice. It also pointed out that Saudi
officials had backed off their stance that Islam can be the only religion on
the Arabian Peninsula and had met with Christian leaders.
in two countries that we still recommend to be a country of particular concern,
Saudi Arabia and Uzbekistan, we saw continued efforts of those governments to
engage,” Commissioner Gayle Manchin said during the report’s rollout on Capitol
Perkins stressed that last week’s mass execution “only exacerbates the
situation and only makes it worse from the standpoint of the abuse of religious
freedom.” After the executions, which included three individuals who were
minors when they were sentenced, USCIRF released a blistering public rebuke.
Saudi government’s execution of minority [Shiite] Muslims on the basis of their
religious identity and peaceful activism is not only shocking, but also
directly contradicts the government’s official narrative of working toward
greater modernization and improving religious freedom conditions,” USCIRF
Chairman Tenzin Dorjee said in a statement.
State Department first designated Saudi Arabia as a country of particular
concern in 2004 and has maintained an “indefinite waiver” for Riyadh since
2006, the report notes. The International Religious Freedom Act requires the
president to designate countries of particular concern every year. The
president then has the option to choose among a menu of retaliatory measures
(including economic and financial sanctions), negotiate a bilateral agreement
or issue a national security waiver.
a dissenting opinion, Commissioner Johnnie Moore defended the State
Department’s decision to maintain the waiver for Riyadh.
do not think the way of persuading Saudi Arabia to improve its religious
environment is by shame and force,” Moore wrote. “I do think it’s through
direct, respectful and meaningful engagement.”
and Syria are the only other two Middle East countries identified as being
among the worst offenders. The report notes that “religious freedom conditions
in Iran trended in a negative direction relative to 2017,” pointing to the
harassment and detention of Sunnis, Sufis, Christians and Baha'is.
the first time, the report also recommends including Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi
rebels and Syria’s al-Qaeda-linked Hayat Tahrir al-Sham as “entities of
particular concern,” joining the Islamic State. The State Department already
designated the Houthis in last year’s report and has highlighted the group’s
detention of Baha'i leader Hamed bin Haydara on espionage and apostasy charges.
the report notes progress in Egypt’s treatment of its own Baha'i minority.
Egypt is listed as a Tier 2 country in which the government is accused of
engaging in or tolerating “serious” religious freedom violations.
made it a point to praise the Egyptian government’s “commitment to peaceful
coexistence” and suggested that Cairo could rid itself of its black mark if it
improves security for religious minorities in Minya, which is home to many
Christian Copts, and enshrines the recognition of the Baha'i faith into law.
Perkins pointed to attacks on Coptic churches throughout Egypt.
still a troubled place,” he told Al-Monitor. “There are rays of light and of
hope, but they’re a long way from being out of the woods.”
the report recommends allocating US assistance “to train and equip Egyptian
security forces to protect the places of worship and other holy sites of
religious minority communities.”
countries on the report’s Tier 2 watch list include Bahrain, Iraq and Turkey.
the report notes that religious freedom in Bahrain “trended positive” in some
areas, the government, it said, “continued its discrimination and repression of
the [Shiite] Muslim community.”
it did last year, the commission endorses legislation that would sanction the
Iran-backed Shiite militia Asaib Ahl al-Haq, which holds 15 seats in the Iraqi
has also fallen under particular scrutiny despite releasing pastor Andrew
Brunson, a US citizen, last year.
really on the borderline of becoming a Tier 1 country,” Perkins told
Al-Monitor. “They’re moving in the wrong direction. We’re going to be watching
very closely this next year, and if they continue on the same course, I would
not be surprised to see them [downgraded].”
Army veteran who converted to Islam plotted white supremacist rally bombing to
avenge mosque attacks: police
ANGELES — An Army veteran who converted to Islam and discussed launching
various terror attacks throughout Southern California was arrested as he
plotted to bomb a white supremacist rally as retribution for the New Zealand
mosque attacks, federal prosecutors said Monday.
Domingo, an infantryman who served a combat stint in Afghanistan, was arrested
Friday after visiting a park in Long Beach where authorities said he planned to
plant home-made explosive devices made with nail-filled pressure cookers in
advance of a Nazi rally scheduled Sunday.
26, was arrested on a charge of providing material support to terrorists. A
criminal complaint said he had been planning since March to “manufacture and
use a weapon of mass destruction in order to commit mass murder.”
Attorney Nick Hanna told a news conference that Domingo supported violent jihad
and spoke about becoming a martyr and of pledging allegiance to the Islamic
State group if it established a presence in the United States.
is a case in which law enforcement was able to identify a man consumed with
hate and bent on mass murder, and stop him before he could carry out his
attack,” Hanna said. “The criminal case outlines a chilling terrorism plot that
developed over the past two months and targeted innocent Americans that he
expected to gather this past weekend.”
said Domingo posted an online message March 3 that said “America needs another
Vegas event,” an apparent reference to the 2017 mass shooting that killed 59.
He allegedly said it would spark civil unrest to weaken “America by giving them
a taste of the terror they gladly spread all over the world.”
Domingo began to discuss seeking revenge for the March 15 attacks that killed
50 people at New Zealand mosques, a confidential source who has worked with the
FBI since 2013 began chatting with him about his plans.
said he had an assault rifle, semi-automatic rifle and several magazines of
ammunition. He discussed picking off Jews walking to synagogue, shooting police
officers or attacking a church or military base, according to investigators.
the source asked him how he planned to carry out violence without getting
caught, court records said Domingo replied: “Martyrdom, bro.”
also allegedly discussed killing a neighbour he was upset with as a prelude to
broader violence and later contemplated bombing the Santa Monica Pier, where he
said a summer attack on the crowded tourist spot would maximize casualties
because people wouldn’t be able to escape the blast in the enclosed space.
he settled on the idea of planting an improvised explosive device that would be
remotely triggered or detonated by a timer at a white supremacist event, investigators
said. The confidential source connected him with a purported bomb maker who was
actually an undercover police officer.
bought 8 pounds (3.6 kilograms) of nails long enough to puncture internal
organs and provided them to the bomb maker, though the resulting contraption
contained only inert materials, authorities said.
he survived the planned bombing, Domingo allegedly discussed launching further
attacks on the Long Beach Port or on a train.
plot was thwarted just two days ahead of the event, investigators said, when an
FBI SWAT team arrested Domingo after he was given the pressure cookers and
surveyed Bluff Park in Long Beach, where the rally was supposed to happen.
nationalists, however, never showed up at the park Sunday. Instead, a large
group of counter protesters demonstrated for peace.
and email messages seeking comment from the public defender representing
Domingo were not immediately returned. A voicemail left at a phone number
listed for Domingo was not returned.
statement from his family asked for privacy.
do not know what is going on at this point,” the statement said. “We are
surprised by all of these events in regard with Mark.”
suspect’s younger brother told reporters outside the family’s Los Angeles home
that Mark Domingo had converted to Islam in recent months.
anybody else, I don’t want to assume a thing when someone joins a new
religion,” James Domingo said. “If anything, I thought it was a good thing. I
thought maybe my brother finally found some sort of guidance in this world.”
Domingo declined to speculate on whether his brother was guilty, only saying he
would “wait for the trial.”
is believed to have acted alone and authorities said the public was not at
risk. After Domingo was identified online by the FBI, he was under surveillance
around the clock, said Ryan Young, the FBI special agent in charge of counter
terrorism at the Los Angeles office.
biggest fear is this was a rapid what we call ‘radicalization to mobilization
to violence,”‘ Young said. “Sometimes we get asked ‘What keeps you up at
night?’ This is a case that keeps us up at night.”
Domingo had appeared committed to carry out the plot, court papers portray him
as suddenly reluctant as the bomb plot came together.
told the others he thought were his confederates they should consider
postponing so he could finish reading the Qur’an and experience the Muslim holy
month of Ramadan beginning in May.
Wednesday, he told the confidential source he wanted to think about it for a
just sleep on it,” he said, according to court papers. “If we’re still as
motivated … I’ll give the go-ahead.”
next day he sent a message to the supposed bomb maker that the plan was on. The
two referred to the bombs as “presents” they needed to wrap for a party.
the presents somewhere safe lol,” Domingo wrote back Friday morning before
making plans to meet that night.
chief demands that the world step up to stamp out hatred
Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is demanding that the world “step up to
stamp out anti-Semitism, anti-Muslim hatred, persecution of Christians and all
other forms of racism, xenophobia, discrimination and incitement.”
UN chief says that beyond the recent murders of worshippers “there is loathsome
rhetoric” aimed not only at religious groups but at migrants and refugees.
also decries “assertions of white supremacy, a resurgence of neo-Nazi ideology
(and) venom directed at anyone considered the ‘other.’”
said Monday “parts of the Internet are becoming hothouses of hate, as
like-minded bigots find each other online, and platforms serve to inflame and
enable hate to go viral.”
said he’s launched initiatives to tackle hate speech and to see how the UN can
contribute to the safety of religious sanctuaries.
says ready to take Indian journalists to Balakot
military on Monday contended the Indian air strike in Balakot in February had
not resulted in loss of lives or damage to infrastructure even as it warned New
Delhi not to test Islamabad’s resolve.
a news conference at the General Headquarters in Rawalpindi, chief military
spokesman Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor repeated his offer to facilitate Indian
journalists if they wished to visit Balakot to “see the truth”.
Indian government has said it struck a Jaish-e-Mohammed facility at Balakot in
Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa province on February 26 in retaliation for the February 14
suicide bombing by JeM at Pulwama that killed 40 troops.
in turn, retaliated with air strikes along the Line of Control on February 27,
which triggered an aerial engagement in which an Indian jet was shot down and
its pilot captured.
contended India has been “repeatedly lying” and Pakistan has not responded.
“For the past two months, India has told uncountable lies. As a responsible
country, we have not responded to their lies,” he said.
reiterated that the state of Pakistan wasn’t linked to the Pulwama attack and
that Prime Minister Imran Khan had called for an investigation based on
evidence as well as dialogue. Despite India’s contention that only one of its
jets was downed on February 27, Ghafoor again claimed two jets were shot down.
He also dismissed India’s contention that a Pakistani F-16 was shot down.
also said India shouldn’t test Pakistan’s resolve as the situation on the
ground has changed since the 1971 war that led to the creation of Bangladesh
from East Pakistan. “This is not 1971, it is not that force or those
circumstances,” he said, adding Pakistan has been engaged in a “continuous
struggle for support to the Kashmiris”.
said “kinetic operations” had been conducted to kill terrorists and dismantle
their facilities. “Today we can say with conviction and evidence that any kind
of organised terrorist infrastructure is not present in Pakistan,” he said.
“The state’s will and capacity is also based on financial capability. While we
were conducting kinetic operations, we had to deal with threats on our eastern
border at least three times,” he added.
said Pakistan plans to bring under state control more than 30,000 madrassas as
part of a drive to “mainstream” them. “An Islamic education will continue to be
provided but there will be no hate speech,” he said, adding seminaries will
come under the purview of education ministry.
won’t block global terrorist tag for Masood Azhar: Sources ahead of UN meet
is expected to lift its hold on blacklisting Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed
(JeM) chief Masood Azhar at a UN sanctions committee on May 1, paving the way
for further global financial sanctions against the banned group, people
familiar with the development said.
designation as a global terrorist would be a major diplomatic victory for the
Narendra Modi government, which has been pushing for the move particularly
since the February 14 terror attack in Pulwama.
is going to be the death knell for Masood Azhar, as he will be designated as a
global terrorist by the UN’s Islamic State and al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee,
with Beijing caving in to the global demand led by the US, France and the UK
that the main orchestrator of the Pulwama attack be brought to book,” said a
senior official who asked not to be named.
is expected to lift the technical hold which it had placed on March 13 on the
proposal by the US, the UK and France, with all other Security Council members
approving the move,” he added.
there were reports suggesting that Beijing wanted to lift the hold around May
15, the other members of the UN Security Council, led by the US, have made it
clear that time was running out for China and its all-weather ally Pakistan on
the issue of Azhar.
after the Pulwama attack by a JeM suicide bomber that killed 40 Indian
troopers, France, with the backing of the US and the UK, moved a proposal at
the UN’s 1267 Sanctions Committee to designate Azhar as a global terrorist.
of the committee, who are the same as the 15 members of the Security Council,
had 10 working days to raise objections to the proposal. On March 13, the final
day, China placed a hold on the proposal, saying more time was needed to
discuss the matter.
was the fourth time China blocked the designation of Azhar even though JeM was
proscribed by the UN in October 2001.
development infuriated the US and its allies, which circulated a draft
resolution on listing Azhar among the UN Security Council’s members to force
a visit to India last week, the US principal deputy assistant secretary of
state for South and Central Asia, Alice Wells, conveyed to her Indian
interlocutors that Washington was looking for action against Azhar “in the near
term”, people familiar with the developments said.
UK high commissioner, Dominic Asquith, also told reporters last week that his
country was optimistic about Azhar’s listing.
was released on December 31, 1999, in a hostage swap at Kandahar airport after
an Indian airliner was hijacked by Pakistani terrorists. He has been accused of
masterminding some of the most heinous terror attacks in India. Before Pulwama,
the JeM was responsible for the 2016 attack on Pathankot airbase, the 2001
attack on Parliament, the Jammu and Kashmir assembly attack the same year, and
a series of assaults against security forces in Kashmir.
50-year-old Azhar is suffering from a life threatening spinal cord ailment and
is bed-ridden but plays an active role in orchestrating attacks against India
with the help of brothers Athar Ibrahim and Rauf Asghar. The JeM operates from
a newly built headquarters in Bhawalpur, which also houses the grave of Azhar’s
father Sabir Alvi. Three of his kin, including two nephews, have been gunned
down by security forces in Jammu and Kashmir since 2017.
nabs duo for insulting Islam, Prophet Muhammad and wife on Facebook
LUMPUR, April 30 — The Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission
(MCMC) have detained two individuals for uploading offensive material on
Facebook about the Prophet Muhammad, his wife Aisyah, and Islam.
agency’s chief enforcement officer Datuk Mohd Shafie Harun said raids were
carried in Semporna, Sabah and in Kajang, Selangor in response to multiple
police reports made about the matter.
said the individuals’ statements were recorded after the simultaneous raids
executed with the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) in both states.
first case involving Facebook profile ‘Auni Zaara’, the suspect uploaded
offensive messages towards the Prophet Muhammad and his wife,” Shafie said
through a statement.
the second case of Facebook profile ‘Faadhillah Abdulhamid’, the suspect
uploaded offensive material against Islam and Prophet Muhammad using very
said they confiscated two mobile phones, three SIM cards and one memory card in
cases will be investigated under Section 233 of the Communication and
Multimedia Act (CMA) 1998 for the “improper use of network facilities”, an
offence punishable by up to a year’s jail and a fine of RM50,000.
warned that the MCMC will not compromise on such behaviour and will take harsh
action against those abusing social media to circulate inflammatory content.
condemns revenge ideology of IS
Rights Concern (MURIC) has condemned the revenge ideology of the Islamic State
(IS), which claimed responsibility for the multiple bombing of churches and
hotels in Sri Lanka during the Easter holidays.
321 deaths were recorded in the attacks.
and director of the rights group, Prof. Ishaq Akintola, stated yesterday that
Islam frowns at tit-for-tat.
words: “For the umpteenth time, we reiterate our condemnation of terrorism and
all forms of violence as a means of seeking redress. Violence is a square peg,
while peace is a round hole. Seekers of justice must not resort to violence
lest they err. Neither can avengers have peace of mind because revenge, by its
very nature, is a vicious cycle. The solution to the world’s problems lies in
dialogue, mutual respect, tolerance, forgiveness and love.”
reject religious demagogues who instruct us to kill people of other faiths. We
debunk the parochial philosophy of merchants of death who tell us to kill
Westerners. We assert clearly, categorically and unequivocally that Islam is a
religion of peace, not a creed of violence.
further contend that as an integral part of compos mentis homo sapiens, Muslims
have no right to kill any follower of other faiths any more than members of
other faiths have any right to kill Muslims. To believe otherwise is to succumb
to the Hobbesian theory of nature where man is seen as a selfish and dangerous
brute. This is what the killers in New Zealand and Sri Lanka have done. They
have become unsolicited ideologues of the Darwinian theory of survival of the
to this barbaric mentality, Islam invites mankind to rational thinking and
respect for human life.”
Khazali, the representative of Sadeqoun coalition at the Iraqi parliament, told
the Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumeh news website that the safe zone is protected
by the US air force which monitors the Iraqi-Syrian border.
added that the US planes land in regions which host the ISIL commanders, saying
that the Americans intend to engage Iraq in a new war and lead it to economic
said that the recent airstrikes by the US coalition against the Iraqi forces in
Kirkuk province should never be ignored, adding that the Iraqi parliament will
soon study the US forces' measures against the security and Hashd al-Shaabi
security experts have accused the US army of training hundreds of ISIL
terrorists in al-Anbar province after relocating them from Syria to Iraq to
prepare them for a new round of insecurity in the country.
700 to 1,000 ISIL militants are being trained by the US troops in al-Anbar
province," the Arabic-language al-Maloumeh news website quoted Manager of
Badr Organization in Al-Anbar Province Qusai al-Anbari as saying in March.
pointed to the special conditions considered for the ISIL militants, and said
that the US troops had specified redlines for third parties to avoid
approaching the region.
is while the Arabic-language Arabi Post recently disclosed that the US troops
had been intensively training the ISIL terrorists in two military bases of Ain
al-Assad and al-Habanieh in al-Anbar province under name of desert ghosts.
sources said the US army troops had equipped the ISIL terrorists with 200
military and non-military vehicles.
Russian media reports claimed on Saturday that ISIL terrorist group's
ringleader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was in Syria's Badiyeh (desert) region,
attempting to cross the border into Iraq.
Arabic-language service of RT news channel quoted an Iraqi intelligence source
as saying that al-Baghdadi was at present hiding in Abu Rajmin mountain near
Syria's Palmyra region in Homs province.
added that the ISIL leader wanted to cross the border into Iraq in the next few
weeks, noting that he had already made several unsuccessful attempts due to the
tight security measures at the border.
report said captured ISIL terrorists leaked during interrogations that
al-Baghdadi had been left with a small number of Saudi, Tunisian and Iraqi
militants who were still loyal to him.
experts said al-Baghdadi was likely trying to join the ISIL terrorists who had
been transferred by the US from Syria to Iraq.
Arabic-language al-Khaleej Online quoted Palestinian sources in Fatah movement
in the West Bank as saying that the UAE has resumed its meddling in Palestine's
internal affairs and is attempting hard to hit a blow at the position of the
prominent Palestinian leaders.
added that Dahlan is in a secret war with Abbas to take control of Fatah
movement, adding that over $2mln, supplied by Abu Dhabi, is being paid by him
to the Palestinians who were coaxed into defecting Fatah movement and
reports said last year that Egypt and the UAE were encouraging Dahlan to form a
new Palestinian party to challenge President Abbas.
600 ISIL terrorists with foreign nationalities have been released by the SDF in
Raqqa province, the pro-militant Step News reported.
noted that the SDF is gradually releasing the ISIL terrorists in Raqqa and the
Step News said that the released ISIL terrorists had been captured by the SDF
in late 2017, adding that the released terrorists are freely commuting in
also reiterated that several Tunisian ISIL terrorists who had earlier been
freed by the SDF have been transferred to Idlib.
a relevant development in late December 2018, the SDF forwarded several aid
convoys to the ISIL terrorists' bases in the town of al-Sha'afah in
Southeastern Deir Ezzur.
field sources reported that a number of SDF vehicles, carrying food stuff, were
sent to al-Sha'afah via al-Alalouni passageway in Eastern Deir Ezzur.
sources pointed to a possible agreement between the SDF and the ISIL over
sending the convoy in return for receiving a hefty amount of money by the
November 2018, the Arabic-language al-Ma'aloumah news website quoted Ahamd al-Sahrifi,
an Iraqi security expert, as disclosing that the US intended to heliborne ISIL
terrorists from Syria-Iraq border to regions behind Iraqi forces' positions
near border with Syria.
further said that the US plan to heliborne ISIL to Iraq came after the Iraqi
forces deployed at border with Syria and close off any infiltration by
terrorists into Iraq.
Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov says the remnants of Daesh Takfiri terrorists
and al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra militants continue to stage provocations
and are reluctant to abide by a ceasefire agreement in the northwestern
province of Idlib. Lavrov said during a press conference in Moscow on Monday
that the terrorist outfits, especially
militants from the Jabhat Fateh al-Sham terror group, formerly known as
al-Nusra Front, are constantly breaching the de-escalation zone agreement by
attacking civilians and carrying out provocations against the Syrian Arab Army
in the troubled region.
top Russian diplomat went on to say that the Syrian government had every right
to protect people living in the country, including Idlib province, which is
under the control of al-Qaeda affiliate Jabhat al-Nusra.
a limit to everything. The situation in Idlib and other areas where terrorists
are still active cannot go on like this forever. We will proceed from the fact
that the Syrian government has every right to ensure the safety of its people
on its territory,” Lavrov stressed, adding, “As Russian President Vladimir
Putin has said, Russia cannot tolerate these terrorists remaining safe there
like in a preserved area.”
and Russia brokered a deal in September 2018 to create a demilitarized zone in
Idlib that would be evacuated of all heavy weapons and militants.
Russia, and Turkey, the three guarantor states of a ceasefire regime in Syria,
have time and again expressed their determination to continue their fight
against terrorism in the Arab country.
President Bashar al-Assad has recently called for progress in stalled talks on
a so-called buffer zone around Idlib province in a meeting with the Russian
president’s special envoy for Syria Alexander Lavrentiev in Damascus.
Syrian president also stressed his government’s determination to eliminate
terrorist groups which are holed up in Idlib and attack civilians in
Assad called for the removal of any "obstacles" blocking the full
implementation of the deal.
in the remarks, Lavrov expressed fear that the US forces, which are illegally
stationed in Syria, could release all
detained foreign terrorists. He said
that such an act by the United States would be as “a terrible crime.”
remarks come as several governments have been grappling with the problem of
what to do with captured fighters from their country, the women who married
them and their children.
ISIS leaders to be ‘delivered justice’ after al-baghdadi videotape
United States vowed on Monday that it would track down and defeat surviving
leaders of ISIS extremist group after its elusive chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi
appeared to speak in a newly released videotape.
US-led coalition against the group will fight across the world to “ensure an
enduring defeat of these terrorists and that any leaders who remain are
delivered the justice that they deserve,” a State Department spokesman said.
al-Baghdadi’s first purported appearance in five years, a cross-legged speaker
said to be the world’s most wanted man referred to the group’s defeat last
month in its final redoubt of Baghouz and threatened revenge attacks.
government analysts “will review this recording and we will defer to the
intelligence community to confirm its authenticity,” the State Department
regardless of the video’s authenticity, the spokesman said that ISIS had been
territorial defeat in Iraq and Syria was a crushing strategic and psychological
blow as ISIS saw its so-called caliphate crumble, its leaders killed or flee
the battlefield, and its savagery exposed,” he said.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday blamed Iran for the ongoing civil war
in Yemen, despite a congressional resolution to end support for the Saudi
Arabian-led coalition in the country.
respect to the civil war, this is Iranian-led," Pompeo said in an interview
for The Hill’s Newsmaker Series.
Arabia has been leading a coalition of countries against Houthi rebels since
2015, when Riyadh and its Sunni-Arab allies launched a massive air campaign in
Yemen aimed at rolling back Houthi gains that began in 2014.
campaign has devastated Yemen’s infrastructure, including its health and
sanitation systems, prompting the UN to describe it as one of the worst
humanitarian disasters of modern times.
government representatives and Houthi rebel leaders held a round of UN-brokered
talks in Sweden in December, which yielded a cease-fire agreement in the Red
Sea province of Al-Hudaydah.
of the warring parties, however, have yet to fully withdraw from Al-Hudaydah
amid tit-for-tat accusations of truce violations and sporadic clashes in other
parts of the country.
said Houthis were not committing to any of the agreements made in Sweden,
following the orders of Iran.
said that weapons systems being used by Houthi forces "have been smuggled
in by Iran" and are aimed at attacking the airport in Riyadh, which means
U.S. citizens flying into the country could be in danger.
support we are providing the Saudis as they engage with these dangerous missile
systems is in America’s best interest," Pompeo said.
month, the Senate voted to pass a legislation that called for the end to the
U.S.'s support to the Saudi-led coalition's war efforts in Yemen. The measure
alpo passed in the House but was eventually vetoed by President Donald Trump.
first video message in five years from ISIS leader Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi emerged
on Monday, in which he sought to reassure his followers after the group's
defeat in Iraq and Syria.
18-minute video released by the terrorist organisation’s media arm Al Furqan
shows Al Baghdadi next to an assault rifle, seated in a white-walled room while
speaking to three followers.
ISIS leader looks physically well despite signs of ageing. His beard is longer
and more grey, dyed with henna at the end, and his hands are paler.
battle for Baghouz is over," Al Baghdadi said as he spoke about future
attacks and areas of presence for ISIS, and recent assaults across Africa and
in Sri Lanka.
US State Department official said that Washington was “aware of the video” and
that government analysts and intelligence agencies would review it to confirm
US official called the territorial defeat of ISIS in Iraq and Syria “a crushing
strategic and psychological blow for its so-called caliphate”.
he said that the fight against ISIS was not finished and any remaining leaders
in the group would be “delivered the justice they deserve”.
experts say the video is meant to boost ISIS's supporters after the recent
losses, and is an attempt by Al Baghdadi to exert his control.
Amarasingam, a senior research fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue,
told The National that the video is aimed at putting the defeat in Baghouz in
Al Baghdadi's own context.
is the context in which he thanks key leaders, key media figures and focuses on
recent attacks,” Mr Amarasingam said.
wants to show that it was largely inevitable that the caliphate would have been
defeated and that the West was never going to allow such a state to exist.
is the next stage of ISIS, Baghdadi wants to assure his followers that he’s
still in charge and not incapacitated."
Bloom, professor of communications and author of the book Small Arms: Children
and Terror, said the video was about Al Baghdadi’s own leadership and control
Bloom told The National that he wanted to show he was physically well after
rumours that he was wounded last year, and that “he is aware of all the ISIS
operations to give the impression that he’s in control”.
the footage, Al Baghdadi mentions terrorist attacks in Sri Lanka and Nigeria
that ISIS claimed.
wants the West to overreact to this video so that the ISIS rhetoric and
ideology resonates with its support base,” Dr Bloom said.
said that the video's editing techniques could imply that Al Baghdadi did not
direct the production.
seems very up to date,” Dr Bloom said.
was referring to his mentions of recent events such as Israeli Prime Minister
Benjamin Netanyahu’s re-election and the removal of Algerian and Sudanese
presidents Abdelaziz Bouteflika and Omar Al Bashir.
experts such as Rita Katz, director of the Site intelligence group, saw the
video as alarming to the West.
foreign minister ‘proud’ to recognize Palestine
foreign minister on Monday expressed pride over her country recognizing
Palestine as an independent state.
am proud of the decision of Sweden's government, which recognized Palestine as
an independent state in 2014,” Margot Wallstrom told state broadcaster SVT.
said many countries followed Sweden's lead in recognizing Palestine.
shows that we recognized Palestine at the right time. We will continue to
support Palestine,” she added.
Israel's criticism of Sweden’s Palestine policy, Wallstrom said dialogue
between Sweden and Israel to solve the problems between the two countries
with Israel reached a low in October 2014 when Sweden became the first EU
member in Western Europe to officially recognize the state of Palestine.
2015, Wallstrom canceled an official visit to Israel, as no Israeli official
was prepared to receive her.
has long sought international recognition as part of its pursuit of a two-state
is at risk of becoming an “Islamic caliphate”, Italy’s populist Interior
Minister Matteo Salvini told an election rally as he campaigned in the
country’s regional elections.
Italian firebrand has launched an aggressive electoral campaign centred on the
preservation of national identity and putting an end to illegal immigration
with an eye to emerging as the largest party in the upcoming elections and a
second vote for the European Parliament in May.
Europe saves itself now, or it never will,” Mr Salvini said on Sunday. “Either
we take it back, as we are doing with Italy, or it will become an Islamic
caliphate with no hope or future.”
comments were met with scorn by a woman in the crowd, who shouted “fascist” at
the leader of the anti-immigrant League party.
Salvini replied sending a kiss to the lady – as he often mockingly does to his
opponents – and rejected the accusation. “We live in a democracy and we will
not go back to fascism, Nazism or communism, what I’d like to see is more
respect,” he said.
hardline rhetoric has emanated from the campaign waged by the Italian official.
On April 25 – which coincides with Italy’s national holiday in remembrance of
the fall of fascism – Mr Salvini told a crowd of supporters in Sicily: “Our
grandparents sacrificed themselves to stop foreigners from coming in. I am
doing and will do exactly the same, because this is our home and Italians come
post on the minister’s Facebook’s page quoting his words was met by a flurry of
comments. “Our grandparents and ancestors sacrificed themselves for democracy
and everyone’s freedom (see 25 April), not for hating foreigners,” one user
one used Nelson Mandela’s words to condemn racism.
Interior Minister, who also serves as deputy Prime Minister, has been the
object of an array of lawsuits following his decision to close all Italian
ports to rescue boats operated by humanitarian organisation to assist migrants
August, Mr Salvini was placed under investigation for alleged abuse of power
and holding people against their will after the Italian coastguard ship, the
Diciotti, was denied permission to disembark.
February, a key committee voted not to lift his immunity to face a possible
League party has also come under fire last week as one of its members, Armando
Siri, was accused of accepting a €30,000 bribe from a businessman in return for
pushing specific renewable energy policies.
Siri is set to offer Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte his resignation within the
next two days to thwart a government crisis.
case escalated tensions between the League and its coalition partner, the 5Star
Movement, whose members have repeatedly called for Mr Siri’s resignation.
party’s leader, Luigi Di Maio, said on Thursday: “When there’s the mafia
involved, we can’t wait for the trial before deciding. [Mr Siri] must go.”
Salvini and other League officials argued evidence is not sufficient to convict
Mr Siri, therefore he should not step down. League officials also say the
allegations do not in any way link their minister to the mafia and have
threatened to withdraw support for the prime minister should the Prime Minister
step in to oust him.
governing coalition has seen multiple rifts in recent months. Critics have
accused both parties of using internal disputes to radicalise their position
and bag votes ahead of the European elections.
League, which was the 5Star Movement’s junior partner when they formed a
government in March 2018, is now projected to win the largest share in the next
latest European elections polls show the League ahead in Italy, with a share of
votes oscillating between 31 and 37 per cent. The 5Star Movement is projected
to come second, bagging between 20 and 23.5 per cent of preferences. In the
European parliament, votes for Mr Salvini will result in the Europe of Nations
and Freedom party – which comprises right-wing and far-right groups across
Europe – taking 27 of the 73 total seats allocated to Italy.
its former leader Umberto Bossi, the League – formerly called Northern League –
has been at the eye of a political and judicial storm after claims by
prosecutors that taxpayers' money was used to pay for improvements to Mr
Bossi’s house, as well as for travel, dinners and hotel accommodation for his
Bossi, his son Renzo and ex-treasurer Francesco Belsito were convicted in July
2017 for embezzling some €49 million of public money between 2008 and 2010.
New Zealand police said on Tuesday they were responding to an incident in
Christchurch, where 50 people were killed in attacks by a lone gunman on two
mosques in March, and asked people to avoid the area.
declined to comment on the nature of the incident in the Phillipstown area of
the city on New Zealand’s South Island and gave no further details.
spokesman for the St. John Ambulance service said an ambulance was on standby
at the scene at the request of police but had not treated any patients.
New Zealand Herald said police were called due to threats of an explosive
device and residents were evacuated from nearby homes.
far-right nationalist party Vox gained a significant foothold in general
elections on Sunday and will enter parliament with 24 of the 350 seats.
rise of Vox, from winning 0.2 per cent of votes to more than 10 per cent in
three years, has shocked Spain and split the right-wing vote.
first gained popularity for their hardline approach to the Catalan independence
bid, tapping into growing nationalist sentiment, and with their provocative
rhetoric against “supremacist feminism” and “illegal immigration”, which they
consider threats to traditional Spanish values.
central to their gains was a stoking of anti-Muslim sentiment through the
manipulation of history, often pegged to calls for a new “Reconquista” and
refers to the long campaign Iberian Christians fought against Moorish rule,
which lasted almost eight centuries and led to the expulsion of Muslims and
Jews from the Iberian Peninsula in 1492.
year, Vox leader Santiago Abascal released a video of himself alongside dozens
of men on horseback riding across an open plain with the slogan, “The
Reconquista will begin in Andalusian lands”.
this month, he launched Vox’s electoral campaign in the village of Covadonga,
where it is claimed the first Christian victory against the then Muslim rulers
use of the term Reconquista in reference to Al-Andalus is itself debatable,
said Hicham Oulad Mhammed, a community activist in Madrid, as the term did not
start appearing in books until the 18th century.
every rally, every meeting they’ve had, they always go back in time and
misrepresent Al-Andalus as a bunch of people that came from Africa, occupied us
for eight centuries, and thank God we managed to kick them out,” he said.
rhetoric reduces the complexity of the Iberian Peninsula’s past, and is a false
representation of history, he said.
language used by the party’s leadership is rife with anti-Muslim and
Abascal has called for “an insurmountable wall” to be built in Spain’s North
African enclave cities of Ceuta and Melilla to stop the “invasion of illegal
party’s second in command, Javier Ortega Smith, is under investigation for
alleged hate speech at a rally in Valencia last September where he claimed
Muslims were “enemies”.
using scare tactics, the politics of fear, of division,” Mr Oulad Mhammed said.
Carmen Aguilera-Carnerero, senior research fellow at the Centre for the
Analysis of the Radical Right, said the increase in hate speech in Spain can be
explained by the polarisation brought about by rising populism.
kinds of comments Vox makes and the symbols they use, Dr Aguilera-Carnerero
adds, indicate that, “they want to build up a concept of Spain in which Muslims
have no place”.
Aurora Ali of the Madrid-based Muslim Association for Human Rights, much of
this anti-Muslim sentiment can be attributed to propaganda for political gain.
sells, and Islamophobia gives votes because they create this atmosphere of
‘othering’ and make us foreigners, although we were always here.”
in a country with four million Muslims, Ms Ali said Vox’s manipulation of
Spain’s past negates its Muslim history.
in 2013 after splintering from the conservative Popular Party, Vox’s
breakthrough came in the regional Andalusian parliamentary elections in
December, where they won 10 per cent of the vote and helped prop up a
right-wing coalition that ended 36 years of socialist rule in southern Spain.
Aguilera-Carnerero said Vox’s ascension to the political mainstream revived the
far-right nationalist ideology that had remained latent since the country’s
transition to democracy, waiting on the fringes for political representation.
use of social media has also aided its rise: a study of political posts in
Spain between December and January revealed 10 per cent contained far-right
study by Alto Analytics discovered just 862 users were responsible for
generating 2.6m far-right political posts, 1.5m of them from the Vox community.
despite being unabashedly Islamophobic in public, in private Vox has been
willing to overlook these views where funding is concerned.
January, Spanish newspaper El Pais reported that supporters of the National
Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) had financed 80 per cent of Vox’s campaign
for the 2014 European elections.
exiled NCRI is controlled by the militant Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, which was
previously listed as a terrorist organisation by the EU and the US.
spokesperson for the NCRI told El Pais that while they knew Vox was a new
party, they were not aware it was a far-right party.
fear of losing voters to the far-right saw both the conservative Popular Party
and the centre-right Ciudadanos party shift their rhetoric further towards Vox
throughout the election campaign.
people, including a minor, have been arrested in France over an alleged plot to
attack security forces, the Paris prosecutor’s office said on Monday.
individuals were arrested on Friday on suspicion of preparing for an “extremely
violent” attack as part of an investigation into a terrorist conspiracy by
France’s domestic intelligence agency, DGSI.
newspaper Le Figaro reported that the suspects, all male, had been looking for
weapons to commit terrorist acts on security forces.
had sufficiently significant indications to fear a major attack," said
Interior Minister Christophe Castaner.
of the suspects is a teenager serving a probationary sentence for trying to
travel to Syria, the prosecutor’s office said.
suspect, aged 17, was sentenced to three years' imprisonment in February 2017,
two of which were suspended with probation, for “terrorist criminal
conspiracy”, Le Figaro reported.
other three were also known to French authorities for common law offences.
security forces have been the target of a number of attacks by groups claiming
to be affiliated with ISIS since the 2015 Paris attacks.
March 2018, a gunman affiliated with the terror group shot at a group of police
officers jogging in the southern town of Trebes.
August 2017, a man who had shown interest in ISIS rammed his car into soldiers
in Levallois-Peret outside Paris, injuring seven people including the attacker.
help Christians renovate iconic Pakistan cathedral
three-day music festival was held in Karachi to raise funds for the renovation
of one of Pakistan’s oldest churches.
Muslim community joined hands with Catholics from St. Patrick’s Parish for the
event to support 175-year-old St. Patrick’s Cathedral.
his address, Cardinal Joseph Coutts of Karachi welcomed the gesture by Muslim
brethren and appreciated their presence, cooperation and support.
need is not only to work for the building of the cathedral but also for the
harmony of the people of Pakistan, because it’s all about Pakistan. And I am
happy that the people who are volunteering for this noble cause are not only from
our church but are also Muslims,” the cardinal said.
three-year project will not only help us to raise funds but will also
strengthen interfaith harmony and build good relations between people of
various religions that will definitely contribute to the development of the
country and send a positive message from Pakistan, our beloved homeland.”
Ismail, the governor of Pakistan’s Sindh province, inaugurated the event.
harmony is the need of the hour. Every religion in the world teaches love,
peace and kindness and it is needed to promote tolerance and humanity,” Ismail
governor appreciated the services of the minority Christian community in
various fields, especially education and health care.
services of the church in promoting interfaith harmony are also remarkable. I
appreciate the Christian community for organizing this event to raise funds to
renovate the architectural work of the church building,” Ismail said.
event included food stalls, a children’s play area and musical performances in
which renowned Christian and Muslim singers and musicians rendered their
talents free of charge.
Mario Rodrigues, rector of the cathedral, said: “This year we are celebrating
175 years of the foundation of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Karachi. We have to
preserve our history, especially this great architectural work. Many of the
stained glasses are broken and the stonework needs repairing.”
said the restoration project would cost about US$1.6 million. Several
fundraising events are planned.
governor and the chief minister of Sindh province have assured us of their
support for this project. They have sent a team to see the cathedral and that
team will monitor and evaluate the whole three-year project,” Father Rodrigues
Pakistan will bring over 30,000 madrassas into the mainstream education system
as part of a determined campaign to combat extremism, the military spokesperson
a press conference in Rawalpindi, Major General Asif Ghafoor said Pakistan had
witnessed a surge in religious seminaries from 247 madrassas in 1947 to 2,861
now there are over 30,000 madrassas. Out of these, only 100 are involved in
propagating terrorism," he said, adding that several steps were afoot to
control and bring the seminaries into the mainstream.
madrassas will be brought under the Ministry of Education so that contemporary
subjects can be taught. We will formulate a syllabus which will not have hate
speech and students will be taught respect for different sects," he said.
military spokesman said the students will also receive a degree which will be
associated with the education board.
February, money was allotted to bring the seminaries into the mainstream. To
control the welfare activities of proscribed organisations, the government has
made a system to mainstream their social activities,"
said to bring the madrassas into the mainstream, they will have to start
teaching other subjects so that students have skills other than religious
said initially Rs 2 billion will be required to run this programme and then Rs
1 billion each year to keep it going.
will provide these funds so that these madrassas are mainstreamed and all of
our children have equal opportunities," he said.
mainstreaming has three phases. The first is to prepare a bill which will be
ready in around a month. The second phase requires training of teachers and the
third phase will be the implementation of the bill," he said.
also claimed that there were no terrorist groups in Pakistan as military
operations had broken the organised networks of militant outfits.
the Pashtun Tahafuz Movement (PTM, also Pashtun protection movement) of getting
funds from Indian and Afghan intelligence agencies, Pakistan’s military vowed
on Monday that the state will take legal action against the group.
Rawalpindi, Pakistan army spokesman Major General Asif Ghafoor said time is up
for those who are stoking PTM’s issues.
much money did you get from the National Directorate of Security to run your
campaign,” Ghafoor asked and alleged that India’s RAW supported it. “How much
money did RAW give you for the first sit-in in Islamabad? What revenge are you
seeking from the army?”
Top Pakistani and US officials in two meetings on Monday held talks to promote
economic and business relations between the two countries and also agreed to
continue their cooperation for Afghan peace and reconciliation.
one of the meetings, Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez
Shaikh informed the delegation led by US principal deputy assistant secretary
of state for South and Central Asian Affairs Ambassador Alice Wells that
Pakistan valued its ties with the United States and both countries needed to
create an environment to move forward for mutual benefits.
official statement issued after the meeting said that matters pertaining to
promotion of economic and business relations between the two countries were
discussed. The participants underlined the need to deepen the engagements
between the two countries in the areas of trade, economy and energy.
Hafeez said that both countries had shared concern about militancy and
extremism. He also referred to the sacrifices rendered by Pakistan while
fighting the war on terror and said the country had borne the brunt of the war.
role in promotion of peace and regional stability also came under discussion.
Wells lauded the peace efforts for stability in Afghanistan. She said both
countries needed to work together for the expansion of economic relations.
appreciated the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan for economic progress and
vowed that the US would support policies aimed at bringing economic stability
Pakistan and the US agreed to continue their cooperation for Afghan peace and
understanding was reached during a meeting between US and Pakistani delegations
at the Foreign Office in which the two sides deliberated on efforts for peace
in Afghanistan and the state of bilateral relationship.
and US inter-agency delegations were led by Ambassador Aftab Khokhar, US
Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad and
Ambassador Wells, respectively.
two US officials are visiting Islamabad as part of regular consultations on
Afghan peace process, Pakistan-US bilateral relationship and regional security
situation,” said the Foreign Office (FO) in a statement issued after the
two sides reviewed recent developments regarding the Afghan peace process. It was
underlined that this was a historic opportunity to end the prolonged Afghan
conflict for which all Afghan stakeholders as well as Afghanistan’s neighbours
had an important role to play,” the FO statement added.
Pakistani delegation during the talks reiterated the country’s support for
intra-Afghan dialogue. They also highlighted the need for creating conducive
environment in Afghanistan for early and dignified return of Afghan refugees to
their homeland, the FO said.
the talks, the state of bilateral engagement and cooperation was also reviewed.
The Pakistani side also sought early convening of the next round of Trade and
Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) meeting. It was noted that an
‘inter-sessional meeting’ would be held in Islamabad on May 2.
in an interview with Tolo News, Afghanistan’s private TV channel, Mr Khalilzad
had said that any peace agreement with the Afghan Taliban would depend on the
declaration of a permanent ceasefire and a commitment to end the war.
said the US would not agree to the revival of the old system that existed in
Taliban before 2001. “If the Taliban insist on going back to the system they
used to have, in my personal opinion it means the continuation of war, not
peace,” he said.
focus is on terrorism. No agreement will be done if we don’t see a permanent
ceasefire and a commitment to end the war,” he added.
Two security personnel were martyred and another was injured in separate
attacks in North Waziristan tribal district on Monday.
to official sources, militants opened fire on a checkpost in the Sheen Kandai
area of Dattakhel tehsil. As a result, Sepoy Mujahid was martyred. His body was
shifted to the Miramshah district headquarters by helicopter.
the other incident, security forces exchanged fire with militants along the
border in Ghulam Khan tehsil. The sources said that security forces challenged
the militants during a search operation in the Meerkhwand top area that led to
The Lahore High Court (LHC) on Monday ordered police to submit the record of
proof that led to the arrest of Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) chief Khadim
two-member bench, headed by Justice Mohammad Qasim Khan, was hearing bail
petitions filed by Rizvi and TLP Patron-in-Chief Pir Afzal Qadri.
high court also ordered the SP Investigation and the investigation officer
concerned to appear before the court in all consequent hearings of the case.
petitioners held the Punjab government and others as party in their bail plea.
lawyer contended that police arrested his client on the basis of an “illegal”
case, adding that there was no evidence of incitement to violence against the
the hearing, Justice Qasim pointed out that in the last hearing, the prosecutor
general was asked to appear before the court. Deputy Prosecutor General Khurrum
Khan, who was present in the court room, responded that the prosecutor general
was in Islamabad and that he had transferred the case to the deputy.
judge said that the prosecutor general should have appeared before the court
when was directed to do so.
counsel for the petitioner said that the TLP leaders had been accused of
issuing statements against the Pakistan Army and the judiciary. The defendant
was also accused of delivering fuming speeches against the release of Aasia
Bibi, he added, while rejecting the allegation.
Qasim asked if the the Constitution has clauses against speaking up against
institutions. “Doesn’t this merit the filing of a treason case, if a clause of
the Constitution is violated,” the judge asked.
counsel for Rizvi added that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) itself had
staged sit-ins and the media had shown the same. At this point, Justice Qasim
Khan said that the court will not take notice on media reports. “We will make a
decision of the basis of what is in the file,” he said.
counsel further said that the case against the TLP leader Rizvi was lodged on
Nov 23, 2018 and he was arrested on Jan 2 under the confinement order.
Qasim Khan remarked that apparently police had arrested Rizvi under confinement
orders instead of the case lodged against him. He also reprimanded the police
officials over absence of the investigation officer.
militants planning another wave of attacks: SL
Sri Lankan security officials have warned that Islamist militants behind Easter
Sunday’s suicide bombings are planning attacks and could be dressed in uniform.
militants were targeting five locations for attacks on Sunday just passed or on
Monday, security sources said. “There could be another wave of attacks,” the
head of the police ministerial security division said in a letter to lawmakers
and other officials seen by Reuters on Monday. “The relevant information
further notes that persons dressed in military uniforms and using a van could
be involved in the attacks.”
across Sri Lanka has been ramped up since the April 21 attacks on hotels and
churches that killed 253 people.
Maithripala Sirisena said on Monday he had appointed Chandana Wickramaratne,
the second in command at the police, as acting police chief. Over the weekend,
two sources at the president’s office told Reuters that Pujith Jayasundara, the
police chief who was appointed by PM Wickremesinghe, was refusing the
president’s request to step down for not sharing information about the attacks.
there is an investigation into his possible failure in preventing the attacks,
Jayasundara has been sent on compulsory leave,” a source close to the president
said. It was not immediately possible to contact Jayasundara on Monday. The
president has also appointed General Shantha Kottegoda as the new defence
secretary, replacing Hemasiri Fernando who resigned after the bombings.
When the Wahhabis came, with their austere ideology and abundant coffers, the
town of Kattankudy yielded fertile ground.
this part of Sri Lanka, faith was often the sole sustaining force during the civil
war that raged for nearly three decades. Wahhabism — a hard-line strain of
Islam blamed for breeding militancy —proposed a direct path to God, albeit one
that aimed to return the religion to the time of the Prophet Muhammad. It was
here in Kattankudy’s warren of homes decorated with delicate swirls of Arabic
calligraphy that Zaharan Hashim, the man accused+ of masterminding the Easter
Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka, grew up. And it was here that he preached his
ideology, calling for the killing of nonbelievers in Islam and even other
Muslims. “To be taken over by radicalism, this is not what we want for
Kattankudy,” said Mohamed Ibraheem Mohamed Jaseem, vice chairman of the town’s
urban council. “We are living in Sri Lanka, not a caliphate.”
Lankan police say that at least two of the suicide bombers involved in the
attacks, which killed at least 250 people, were from Kattankudy. The Islamic
State group claimed responsibility.
Friday evening, just down the coast from the town, a raid on a house linked to
the Easter bombings turned violent, leaving 15 dead+ and wounding the wife and
child of Zaharan. Some of the dead, thought to include Zaharan’s brother and other
immediate family, blew themselves up as security forces closed in. The Islamic
State group also claimed a connection to this shootout.
was in the 1980s that Kattankudy, one of the few almost exclusively Muslim
towns in Buddhist-majority Sri Lanka, began blossoming into a center of Islamic
life. The town was enriched by Saudi money for mosques and madrassas,
work-abroad contracts and university scholarships.
the advent of Wahhabism, with its isolating dogma, has also shaken this
multifaith island where minority Muslims have traditionally practiced a more
inclusive faith. Birthed in Saudi Arabia, Wahhabism’s stern intolerance
denigrates not only those who don’t believe in Islam but other Muslim sects as
Saudi Arabia insists the faith does not call for violence, critics have long
blamed the kingdom’s mass export of its austere creed for fueling extremism and
terrorism abroad. Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden and most of the hijackers in
the September 11, 2001, attacks were from Saudi Arabia, and the Islamic State
group used Saudi religious textbooks inside its selfstyled caliphate in Syria
in Kattankudy, stately date palms line the main street, as if this
lagoon-filled landscape was a desert oasis. Cafes offer tiny cups of syrupy
Middle Eastern coffee along with Sri Lanka’s famous tea.
are more than 60 mosques in Kattankudy for a population of 45,000, and most now
subscribe to conservative strains of Islam, including Wahhabism. At the New
Kattankudy Grand Jumma Mosque, designed as a replica of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem,
one of Islam’s holiest sites, construction workers are laying intricate blue
mosaics as part of the town’s mosquebuilding boom.
the age of 7, everyone must pray five times a day, so we always need more
mosques,” said MIM Irfan, the mosque’s secretary.
an appeal to the Muslim community that supported his government, Mahinda
Rajapaksa, Sri Lanka’s former president and an unabashed Buddhist nationalist,
came to lay the cornerstone of the Kattankudy Grand Jumma Mosque. Saudi
diplomats visited, too.
Saudis and others from the Gulf also supported a plan by MLAM Hizbullah, a
Kattankudy native who is now governor of Eastern province, to open an
Islamic-inspired university campus in his hometown. But a dearth of land in its
densely populated neighborhoods meant that the university, a vast edifice of
domes and mosaics that is one of the biggest buildings in the province, is
being built farther north.
is against reversing regulations that allow Sri Lankan Muslim men to marry
children and have multiple wives. Last week, authorities brought him in for
questioning in connection with a radical group founded by Zaharan.
group, National Towheed Jamaat, said it severed ties with Zaharan two years
group’s prayer space in Kattankudy is modern and under renovation, a
glass-sheathed building with expensive speakers waiting to be installed. Less
than a block away stands a disused bus from Yeshua Ministries, an evangelical
mingles in Sri Lanka but it also can combust.
in 2004, Wahhabi-influenced youth from Kattankudy began attacking Sufis, who
practice a mystical form of Islam.
were thrown and swords thrust. Hundreds of Sufis were forced from their homes.
charged with the anti-Sufi brigade.
Kattankudy’s Islamic organizations are horrified by Zaharan’s militancy and
have eschewed violence, most have campaigned for years against Sufis.
people, it is not Islam,” said MLM Nassar, a member of the Federation of
Kattankudy Mosques and Muslim Institutions.
Sri Lanka’s long civil war, which pitted minority Tamils against the Sinhalese
majority, Muslims were sometimes caught in the middle. (Accounting for about
10% of the population, Muslims are considered a distinct ethnic group in Sri
Tamils, who are mostly Hindus or Christians, considered Muslims to be
government collaborators. Some Sinhalese, who tend to be Buddhist, distrusted
the fact that Muslims in Sri Lanka speak Tamil and populate some areas where
Tamils are clustered.
Buddhist chauvinism popularized by powerful politicians has poisoned relations
1990, at the height of the terror between insurgents from the Liberation Tigers
of Tamil Eelam and a Sri Lankan military accused of slaughtering civilians,
worshippers gathered in the evening for prayer at the Meera Grand Jumma Mosque
was dark, just another poor town on Sri Lanka’s Tamil and Muslim-dominated east
coast bereft of electricity.
gunmen emerged from among the faithful, lobbing grenades and spraying bullets
in the sacred space. That night, more than 100 people, many of them children,
were killed in attacks on two Kattankudy mosques. The perpetrators were believed
to have been Tamil Tigers.
the walls of the Meera Grand Jumma Mosque are still pockmarked with bullet
scars, a memory of hatred preserved for each generation to ponder.
Shamsudeen’s 13-year-old son was killed in the attack, along with 16 other
relatives. He is now a security guard at the mosque where his family was
massacred, keeping vigil amid fears after the Easter killings that mosques
might be targeted in retribution.
on the mosque’s veranda, his eyes filled with tears for his son. He welled up
again when he thought of what a hometown boy, Zaharan, appears to have
unleashed at one church in the nearby city of Batticaloa and at two others in
or near the capital Colombo.
talk of jihad emanating from some of Kattankudy’s hard-line clerics appalled
him, he said. Peace finally came to Sri Lanka in 2009. Like so many in the
country, Shamsudeen is done with war.
had no weapons to fight back then,” he said of the attack that killed his son
and other family members. “But even if we did, is revenge the best way?”
Sri Lankan officials said on Tuesday security forces were maintaining a high
level of alert after intelligence reports that Islamist militants were planning
fresh attacks before the start of the holy Islamic month of Ramadan.
head of the police ministerial security division had said in a letter to
lawmakers and other officials that attacks were expected on Sunday or Monday by
militants dressed in army uniform.
were no attacks on Sunday and Monday but security across Buddhist-majority Sri
Lanka remains ramped up, with scores of suspected Islamists arrested since the
April 21 attacks on hotels and churches that killed more than 250 people,
including 42 foreign nationals.
will stay tight for several days because military and police are still tracking
down suspects," a senior police intelligence official said on Tuesday.
government source told Reuters a document has been circulated among key
security establishments instructing all police and security forces across the
Indian Ocean island nation to remain on high alert because the militants were
expected to try a strike before Ramadan.
is scheduled to begin in Sri Lanka on May 6.
government has also banned women from wearing face veils under an emergency law
that was put in place after the Easter Sunday attacks.
suspect members of two previously little-known groups - National Thawheedh
Jamaath (NTJ) and Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim - of carrying out the attacks,
although Daesh has claimed responsibility.
believe Zahran Hashim, the founder of NTJ, was the mastermind and one of the
nine suicide bombers.
counter-terrorist Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) carried out a strike on a
militant hideout in Dhaka on Monday, leading to the suicide-bomb deaths of at
least two suspects, officials said.
officers surrounded a makeshift tin-shed house in the Bosila neighborhood of
the Bangladeshi capital and called on those inside to surrender. But about six
hours after the government forces arrived, bystanders heard an explosion
followed by a fire, officials said.
least two militants were killed. They blew themselves up as we started the
operation following their refusal to surrender,” RAB senior superintendent
Mizanur Rahman, who was at the scene, told BenarNews.
indication shows that they blew themselves up with an IED (improvised explosive
device). We have yet to identify them or which militant outfit they belong to,”
blast marked the first suicide bombing incident by militants in Bangladesh
since Oct. 16, 2018, when a woman and a child died in an explosion at a hideout
in Dhaka’s Narshingdi district.
officers, on the basis of intelligence reports, first arrived around 3 a.m.
Monday, knocked on the door of the house and got no response. They then went to
a nearby mosque, according to RAB Director General Benazir Ahmed.
interrogated the caretaker of the mosque near the house. As we were
interrogating the caretaker, the people inside the house open fired on us. Our
forces fired back,” he said.
house’s owner, the caretaker and caretaker’s wife were arrested along with the
imam of the mosque, RAB spokesman Mufti Mahmud Khan told reporters.
Shikder, a mason whose house is about 50 meters from the hideout, told
BenarNews about the standoff.
stayed inside the house. At around 3:30 a.m., we heard sounds of firing,” he
were terrified that we could be caught in the crossfire. At dawn, we were
herded out to a nearby mosque.”
said the hideout was constructed several months ago.
owner of the house was a cable TV businessman and he set up the nearby mosque.
A caretaker lives there with his wife and two children,” he said.
used to hear recitations from the Holy Quran,” he said.
Maleka Begum told BenarNews that she visited the house a couple of days ago.
Saturday, I saw two bearded men sleeping in the room next to the room of the
caretaker. One of them was fat and had a long beard while the other was slim
and had a thin beard,” she said.
was curious to see who the two men were and tried to peep through the room. But
the wife of the caretaker told me not to,” Begum said.
said she walked past the house at 11 p.m. Friday. “I saw two persons carrying a
small courier bag come to the house on a motorcycle. They covered their faces
with a scarf,” she said.
and police officials said about 100 suspected militants had been killed in
Bangladesh since an overnight siege claimed by an Islamic State-linked group at
the Holey Artisan Bakery café attack, the deadliest in the nation’s history. In
all, 20 civilians, two police and two café workers were killed along with five
militants who died when security forces raided the café the morning after the
attacks abroad denounced
on Monday, Bangladesh’s parliament adopted a unanimous resolution denouncing
recent terrorist attacks in New Zealand and Sri Lanka.
Bangladesh parliament urges the governments of all countries and their citizens
to build up resistance against terrorism and militancy,” Speaker Shirin Sharmin
Chaudhury told BenarNews.
opposition members of parliament, including five newly sworn in Bangladesh
Nationalist Party (BNP) members, participated in the discussion and vote on the
must be made free from militants and terror. We need to be united to face the
challenges of terrorism and militancy,” said Harun Rashid, a BNP member who
took the parliamentary oath on Monday.
March 15 in New Zealand, an Australian white supremacist allegedly opened fire
at two mosques in Christchurch, killing 50 people.
Easter Sunday, suicide bombers attacked churches and hotels in Sri Lanka,
leaving around 250 people dead, according to government officials.
the aftermath of the suicide attacks, Sri Lanka expelled foreign employees who
worked at a factory owned by one of the suspects who carried out the April 21
bombings. Eleven Bangladeshis were among factory workers sent back to their
11 were interrogated by authorities after coming back to Bangladesh, Monirul
Islam, the chief of the counter-terrorist unit at Dhaka Metropolitan Police,
told reporters Monday.
workers were employed in a factory owned by Ibrahim Insaf Ahmed, who is one of
the alleged suicide attackers in Sri Lanka,” he said. “After the death of
Ibrahim Insaf, Sri Lankan authorities shut down the factory and interrogated
employees, then handed over all foreign workers to their respective embassies.”
Special Forces of the Afghan National Police have arrested a prominent Taliban
spy in Kabul city, the Ministry of Interior said in a statement.
ministry of interior further added that the Taliban spy identified as
Qudratullah was arrested in Company area of Kabul city on Sunday evening.
was collecting and sharing information regarding supply convoys which were
travelling on Kabul-Maidan Wardak highway besides planning and coordinating
terrorist attacks, the ministry of interior said.
least 17 Taliban militants were killed during the airstrikes which were
conducted in southern Uruzgan, south-eastern Ghazni, and eastern Nangarhar
to informed military sources, at least 12 Taliban fighters were killed during
the airstrikes conducted in Tarin Kot city, the provincial capital of Uruzgan
sources further added that a similar airstrike was carried out in Andar
district of Ghazni province leaving one Taliban fighter dead.
least 4 Taliban fighters were killed during separate airstrieks conducted in
Khogyani and Achin districts of Nangarhar province.
sources also confirmed that 13 Taliban fighters were killed in the airstrikes
conducted in Abe Kamari district of north-western Badghis province.
Special Forces of the Afghan military have destroyed multiple weapons during a
raid which was conducted in Wardak province.
military source said Monday that the raid was conducted on Monday in Sayyidabad
weapons were captured and destroyed during an Afghan Special Security Forces
(ASSF) raid in Sayyidabad district, Wardak province, April 28, 2019,” the
anti-government armed militants including Taliban have not commented regarding
the airstrike so far.
European Union (EU) has extended sanctions, including a weapons embargo,
against Myanmar for one year over the Myanmarese military’s deadly crackdown on
minority Muslims in the country.
European Council said in a statement on Monday that the sanctions included
restrictions on arms, dual-use products, and surveillance equipment that could
be used for “internal repression” in Myanmar’s Kachin, Rakhine, and Shan
states, where minority Rohingya Muslims have been subjected to state-sponsored
sanctions regime includes an embargo on arms and equipment that can be used for
internal repression, an export ban on dual-use goods for use by the military
and border guard police, and export restrictions on equipment for monitoring
communications that might be used for internal repression,” the Council said in
EU also extended sanctions on 14 senior military and border officials over
human rights violations, including killings and sexual violence. The measures
bar them from traveling to or through the European bloc and freeze any assets
they hold in Europe. Under the sanctions, the EU will also be refusing to train
soldiers from Myanmar.
measures will stay in place until at least April 30, 2020.
statement referred to the findings of the independent international
fact-finding mission (FFM) of the UN Human Rights Council, which “concluded
that gross human rights violations were committed in Kachin, Rakhine and Shan
States, in particular by the Myanmar Armed Forces (Tatmadaw)” and urged the
government of Myanmar “to take, without further delay, meaningful action and to
make progress in all areas of concern set out” in its previous conclusions of
February 26, 2018.
Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar have faced horrific violence since 2012. In
2017-18, Rakhine State in particular was the scene of an organized crackdown
committed against the Muslims by the country’s military and Buddhist mobs.
Thousands of Muslims were killed in that crackdown and some 800,000 Rohingya
fled to neighboring Bangladesh, where they currently live in camps in dire
violence in Rakhine has been described by the United Nations as genocide.
year, a UN fact-finding mission said the campaign against the Rohingya was
orchestrated with “genocidal intent.” It urged charging the Myanmarese army
chief and five other generals with the “gravest crimes under international
International Criminal Court (ICC) has already opened a preliminary examination
of the violence.
activists express solidarity with Christians killed in Sri Lanka
Lumpur (AsiaNews) – A group of Muslim activists for dialogue yesterday visited
a Hindu temple, a Catholic church and a place of Buddhist worship, to show
solidarity with the victims of the terrorist attacks, which struck on 21 April
Sri Lanka. Claimed by the Islamic State (IS), 253 people lost their lives and
over 500 were seriously injured in the attacks against three churches and as
by President Shah Kirit Kakulal Govindji, a 22-member delegation from the
Global Unity Network NGO began a round of visits from Sri Maha Kaliamman, a
Hindu temple located in the village of Kampung Kasipillay. Later the group
arrived at the parish of St. Joseph in Sentul (photo 1), district of Kuala
Lumpur. Activists finally visited the Sri Jayanti Buddhist temple in the same
area of the capital.
Christchurch, when people of Islamic faith were killed, non-Muslims showed us
their solidarity. Following the attacks in Colombo, where Christians were
murdered, we Muslims also need to show our closeness. We must not manifest
compassion and solidarity only when Muslims die. We must express concern if
even a non-Muslim is killed. We need to be fair to everyone," says Shah
Kirit to the Malaysian newspaper The Star.
the church of St. Joseph, the delegation attended mass (photo 2). At the end of
the function, the group - composed of students and professionals - held a
meeting with the parish priest, Fr. George Packiasamy. "We have an
excellent relationship with the church," the president said, adding that
this is his fourth visit to the local Catholic community.
NGO has been engaged in interreligious dialogue for almost 20 years and offers
itself as a tool to expose Muslims to other religions. "Malaysia -
explains Shah Kirit - is a multi-racial and multi-religious country, so it is
very important that we understand each other well".
activist believes that today many problems in the world stem from prejudices,
presumptions and misconceptions about other religions or ethnic groups.
"The best way to remove all this is to learn from each other. That's why
we must teach Muslims to learn about other religions," he concludes.
JAYA: The mufti of Perlis today took potshots at the Pakatan Harapan
administration following the arrest of a close associate over allegedly
derogatory remarks on Hinduism.
don’t blame the police, but this is happening due to a political reality that
allows Muslims to be bullied,” said Mohd Asri Zainul Abidin, in remarks
defending Muhammad Zamri Vinoth Kalimuthu, who was arrested early yesterday in
Arau, Perlis, over remarks allegedly insulting Hinduism.
Asri said Zamri was someone who worked to strengthen religious harmony by
organising visits to non-Muslim places of worship.
who heads Muslim propagation organisation One Centre Malaysia, is being
investigated under Section 298A of the Penal Code and Section 233 of the
Communications and Multimedia Act over a lecture at a mosque in Kelantan last
said Zamri was only sharing his personal experience of becoming a Muslim to a
his facts false? Was he insulting or merely sharing his own story? What about
the speeches of politicians of other faiths which always spark friction with
Muslims,” Asri asked.
said current “political realities” allowed Muslims to be bullied, adding that
authorities had not acted against government leaders who made statements
offensive to Muslims.
LUMPUR, April 29 — Being born in Malaysia does not allow an individual to
automatically obtain Malaysian citizenship, Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin
said that children who do not have identification documents in Sabah, should
fulfill the requirements set by the National Registration Department (NRD).
is in line with the provisions of the Federal Constitution and the Citizenship
Rules 1964, where the citizenship status of an individual is determined on the
basis of the biological parents’ nationality and the legal status of the
marriage, according to the law that was in force at the time of birth,” he
said this when winding up the debate on the royal address for his ministry at
Dewan Negara here today.
regard to the ministry’s action on allegations that there are 500,000 people in
Sabah who have no citizenship, Muhyiddin said the government had intensified
enforcement and repatriation against illegal immigrants in Sabah.
explained that 581,085 illegal immigrants in Sabah had been repatriated from
the country which was carried out from 1990 until April 18.
on the action taken against those insulting the royal and Islamic religious
institutions on social media, he said the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM) had
investigated 98 cases and of that number, nine individuals were charged in
court from 2012 to April 20.
ALAM, April 29 — There should always be a middle ground in politics, lest the
country be poisoned by toxic politics, said former Umno Youth chief Khairy
that other countries aside from Malaysia is currently experiencing this
phenomenon, he said it is all too common for the supporters of one side to not
see eye-to-eye with their counterparts on the other side.
one is a Pakatan Harapan supporter, then there is nothing they can agree upon
with a BN supporter, and vice-versa,” Khairy said during Karangkraf’s Bicara
Rembau MP said there surely must be some form of middle ground, where both PH
and BN can co-operate in certain matters when it comes to running the country.
is a matter of us functioning as a viable Opposition, and they as the (federal)
government running the country.
politics in Malaysia become too toxic, the hatred will poison the entire political
system,” Khairy told moderator Tan Sri Johan Jaafar.
on an earlier point where he discussed it is vital for Umno to remain centrist
instead of heading further into the right, Khairy said this was a fact that
even PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang admitted.
himself acknowledged that although the core (of the struggle) is Malay-Islam,
it does not mean others are denied their rights.
Attack Church In Burkina Faso, Five Killed
killed four worshippers and a pastor in the first jihadist attack on a church
in Burkina Faso, security and local sources said Monday.
attack took place in the small northern town of Silgadji near Djibo, the
capital of Soum province, and two others were reported missing.
armed individuals have attacked the Protestant church in Silgadji, killing four
members of the congregation and the main pastor," a security source told
least two other people are missing," the source added.
was the first attack on a church since jihadist violence erupted in the west
African nation. Muslim clerics and imams have been targeted as well.
attack happened around 1:00 pm, just as the faithful were leaving the church at
the end of the service," a member of the church who did not want to be
identified told AFP.
attackers were on motorbikes. They fired in the air before aiming at the
members of the congregation," the witness added.
Faso has suffered from increasingly frequent and deadly attacks attributed to a
number of jihadist groups, including the Ansarul Islam group, the Group to
Support Islam and Muslims (GSIM) and Islamic State in the Greater Sahara.
attacks started in the north of the country before targetting the capital
Ouagadougou and other regions, notably the east of the country.
February, a Spanish priest, Father Cesar Fernandez, was killed in a raid
attributed to jihadists in Nohao in the centre of the country.
military, opposition discuss powers of joint council, say sources
military rulers and an opposition alliance met on Monday to discuss the powers
of a joint military-civilian council to steer the country’s transition after
three decades of rule by Omar al-Bashir, two sources familiar with the
two sides had been due to talk about the make-up of the proposed body, but
military officers who toppled Bashir on April 11 focused the discussions
instead on the future council’s functions and powers, the sources said.
further meeting between the Transitional Military Council (TMC) and the
Alliance of Freedom and Change Forces, an umbrella group representing
opposition groups and activists, will be held to discuss the council’s
composition, they added.
make-up of the proposed council is key because activists who organized 16 weeks
of protests leading to Bashir’s ouster have insisted that the body be civilian
TMC has not indicated that it is willing to cede ultimate authority.
joint council would be the sovereign body overseeing a technocrat government
and a legislative council.
on Monday evening, the Alliance of Freedom and Change Forces held a press
conference reiterating demands for a full civilian rule in Sudan, Al Arabiya
Bashir’s ouster the TMC announced it would remain in place for two years ahead
Alliance of Freedom and Change Forces wants a four-year transition overseen by
a civilian-led council with military representation.
have kept up pressure on the TMC through mass rallies and a sit-in outside the
Defense Ministry in Khartoum that began on April 6.
United Nations (UN) has warned against the deteriorating humanitarian situation
in Libya as fierce fighting rages on between rival forces for control of the
humanitarian coordinator for Libya Maria do Valle Ribeiro issued the warning in
an interview with AFP late Sunday, amid clashes that continue in and around
Tripoli between forces loyal to Libya’s internationally-recognized Government
of National Accord (GNA) and those allied with the so-called Libyan National
Army (LNA) led by renegade general Khalifa Haftar.
long as the situation continues, even if it just stagnates and continues like
this, we can expect to see a continuing deterioration," Ribeiro told AFP.
"When we see the use of air power, the indiscriminate shelling of densely
populated areas, it is very difficult to be optimistic.”
UN official made the remarks after the GNA reported that air raids by the LNA
had killed four people and wounded 20 others in Tripoli a day earlier.
continue to call for a respect of civilians, we continue to call for
humanitarian pauses and most of all we continue to hope that the situation can
return to a more peaceful settlement of the crisis," Ribeiro said.
UN official also voiced concern over a breakdown in basic services, including
electricity and water supplies, and said more relief funds were needed for the
oil-rich African country.
decries UN ‘silence’ on Haftar attacks
on Sunday, the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord held the UN Security
Council responsible for refraining from taking action regarding attacks carried
out by Haftar’s forces on the Libyan capital.
GNA “holds the UN mission and Security Council responsible for their silence
and complacency towards the actions of the criminal Haftar,” the government
said in a statement.
went on to say that since the Libyan renegade general failed to make progress
on the ground, he has resorted to seek support from “foreign air forces to
strike civilians and the unarmed in the city”.
has been divided between two rival governments - the House of Representatives
based in the eastern city of Tobruk and the GNA headed by Libyan Prime Minister
Fayez al-Sarraj in Tripoli.
75-year-old Haftar who enjoys the loyalty of a group of armed militia and
backing from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Egypt has taken upon
himself to protect the government in Tobruk.
forces and militia loyal to the GNA have been fighting back.
crisis began to escalate on April 4 when forces loyal to Haftar launched a
deadly campaign to invade and conquer Tripoli.
International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) has recently said that
intensified fighting for control of Tripoli was turning the densely-populated
residential areas of Tripoli into “battlefields.”
to the World Health Organization (WHO), the fighting has so far killed at least
278 people and wounded more than 1,300 others. The International Organization
for Migration (IOM) also reported that about 39,000 people have been displaced
by the clashes.
has been the scene of increasing violence since 2011, when former dictator
Muammar Gaddafi was toppled from power after an uprising and a NATO military
advises against multiple Hajj trips over Saudi crimes
Grand Mufti Sadiq al-Ghariani has urged Muslims to abstain from traveling to
Saudi Arabia for pilgrimage more than once, saying the kingdom uses Hajj
revenues to commit crimes against " fellow Muslims."
able Muslims are required to go on Hajj once in their lifetimes, Ghariani said
anyone going on a second Hajj or on the optional Umrah pilgrimage would be
committing "an act of sin rather than a good deed."
reason for his fatwa is that the money paid would "help Saudi Arabian
rulers to carry out crimes against our fellow Muslims," the grand mufti
said in a televised address on Ean Libya.
on the pilgrim's nationality, Hajj costs thousands of dollars per person. Hajj
and Umrah make up 20% of Saudi Arabia’s non-oil-related GDP.
in the world hasn’t been thrown into havoc by Saudi Arabia," Ghariani
said, adding the money paid to the monarchy would contribute to the
"massacre" of Muslims in Yemen, Libya, Sudan, Tunisia, and Algeria.
Arabia and a number of its allies have been waging a devastating war against
Yemen since March 2015 with the goal of bringing the government of former
president Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi back to power and crushing Houthis.
the United Arab Emirates, Riyadh is also a key ally of General Khalifa Haftar,
who earlier this month began an offensive on the internationally-recognized
Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli.
year, the top cleric accused the UAE of stimulating hostilities in Libya with
the help of the “Zionists’ room” which he said existed in the United Arab
UAE and Egypt have in the past helped Haftar with airstrikes and provided his
forces with military equipment such as helicopters, even building an air base
has been waging a deadly campaign since April 4 to seize Tripoli from troops
aligned to Libya’s UN-recognized Government of National Accord (GNA).
this month, Ghariani said the Libyan people should resist and fight against
Haftar’s forces in Tripoli. He also called for jihad on France and the UAE in
response to their backing of Haftar.
Air raids on Tripoli Sunday night killed four people and wounded 37, Libya’s
Government of National Accord (GNA) said Monday, blaming the attacks on
strongman Khalifa Haftar’s self-styled Libyan National Army (LNA).
came a day after a similar attack on the capital killed another four civilians
and injured 20, according to the GNA.
LNA launched an offensive against Tripoli, the seat of the
internationally-recognized GNA, on April 4.
initial gains, Haftar’s forces have encountered stiff resistance on the
southern outskirts and his troops have been pushed back in some areas.
least 278 people have been killed and more than 1,300 wounded in the clashes,
according to a toll released Wednesday by the World Health Organization.
GNA accuses Haftar of using foreign planes to carry out air strikes, without
naming a country of origin.
Sunday’s raids, “public hospitals received four dead people — three civilians
and a soldier, and 37 wounded, Amin Al-Hachemi, a spokesman for the GNA health
ministry told AFP.
toll may rise given that victims have been transported to private hospitals.”
parts of Tripoli struck were Abou Slim, a densely-populated residential area in
the south, and Ain Zara, a southern suburb that has seen several violent
clashes in recent weeks.
spokesman for the LNA confirmed Saturday’s strikes on the capital, but said
they were aimed at military targets.
capital is experiencing an escalation in the military offensive, war crimes,
and indiscriminate bombings of residential areas, public facilities and infrastructure,”
Mohanad Younes, a spokesman for the GNA, said on the government’s Facebook
foreign planes participated in these raids, the latest ones having hit homes in
Ain Zara and Abou Slim,” said Younes.
responsibility for these acts, he added, rests “with the states which support
the belligerent forces of the criminal Haftar.”
offensive has sharpened fault lines in policy toward Libya among world powers.
April 18, Russia and the United States opposed a British bid backed by France
and Germany at the UN Security Council to demand a cease-fire in the North
White House revealed the next day that Donald Trump had reached out personally
to Haftar in a phone call, during which the US president “recognized Field Marshal
Haftar’s significant role in fighting terrorism and securing Libya’s oil
The North Eastern Regional Commissioner (RC),
Mohamed Birik has issued a stern warning to residents bordering Boni forest against aiding Al-Shabaab militants holed up in the
a press conference in his
office on Monday, Birik said security
officers patrolling the forest on
Sunday stumbled on thirty 20-litre jerricans stuffed
with foodstuff and buried in the ground at the edge of the forest in Holugho.
Birik said the recent rains that have been pounding
the area could have exposed the containers and the security personnel
patrolling the area became curious when they spotted parts of the jerricans
inspection they found that the thirty jerricans neatly packed and buried some
five feet in the ground were stuffed with rice, cooking oil, sugar and beans,”
said that preliminary investigations show the locals collaborating with
the militants ferried the foodstuff and buried them so that members of the
militia could come and collect them under the cover of darkness.
said the recovered consignment has since been destroyed.
incident has confirmed our fears
that we have in our midst locals who are aiding terror activities. I
would like to issue a stern warning to the collaborators that they will be
severely punished when caught,” Birik said.
Birik urged members of the public to be on the
alert and report any suspicious characters residing in their midst.
“I want to urge the public to be wary of the
militants who want to gain entry into the country through the border at this
time of rains,” he said.
Birik also put chiefs and their assistants on
notice, saying that they should be aware of what is happening in their
and their assistants are the eyes of the government on the ground. They are
expected to know what is happening especially on matters to do with security.
This should not have escaped their knowledge,” he added.
militants who can walk long distances on foot during rainy season always take advantage
of the bad roads that curtail security patrols to move far and wide to carry
Muslims condemn terror attacks in Sri Lanka
April 29, 2019: Hyderabad’s St George’s Church on April 28 saw a rather unusual
guest addressing the 300-odd Christians assembled for the morning worship
Imam was speaking of peace, more precisely, condemning the ghastly terror
attack in Sri Lanka that killed more than 350 people, mostly Christians and
international tourists in the island nation.
many churches in Hyderabad wore a gloomy look after the bomb attacks in Sri
Lanka, Muslim clergy and scholars came together and spoke of religious harmony
at various churches in the capital city of Telangana.
the sermons delivered by priests and pastors strssed unity and peace, the
Muslim leaders expressed solidarity and condemned all forms of terrorism. During
the worship service, Shaikh Mirza Yawer Baig, an Imam of Masjid Mahmood Habib
in Banjara Hills along with other Muslim clergy and scholars, visited the
flowers ready for distribution, as a symbol of peace, and placards that read of
spreading ‘unity,’ the group met the members of the church after the service.
However, the pastor of the church invited the Imam to address the congregation.
is one, whatever name you call or however way you worship. But as far as this
world is concerned, we are brothers and sisters to one and other,” Baig, an
alumnus of St George’s Grammar School told the gathering.
urged people to stand firm and together to fight terrorism. “If we allow hate
messages of the terrorists to reach us, they will succeed. We cannot let them
succeed,” Baig added.
presbyter of St George’s Church, M Prashanth Babu, said, “They (Muslim
scholars) came in the morning and asked if they could meet the members. But we
invited them to speak. They were extremely sad with what happened in Sri Lanka
and preached the message of peace.”
US Consulate General, Katherine B Hadda, was present during the service as she
spoke about, “…evil that is striking people as they worship,” and asked people
to stand together.
Muslim group was led by Mecca Masjid society vice-president Iqbal Jaweed,
architect Khaja Asif Ahmed and members from student Islamic organisation. They
plan to hold a candlelight vigil at St Mary’s Church on May 5.
members of Christian churches in the city demand of door frame metal detectors
to be placed for security checks.
the imams, the Muslim group comprised IT professionals, housewives to social
organisztions and educational institutions.
speakers noted that the attacks aimed to instil fear and break people, “but
today we want to say it loud and clear that we are together and will always
stand together in all the times sharing love and brotherhood.”
marched to St George’s Grammar School church and visited Rosary Convent school
Church and Wesley Church.
people have been arrested for their alleged involvement in grenade attacks and
planting explosives in Jammu and Kashmir’s Pulwama district, the Jammu and
Kashmir police said on Monday.
superintendent Tahir Saleem Khan identified three of the accused as Murtaza,
Aqib and Irfan-ul-Haq. He added the four were a part of a Jaish-e-Mohammed
(JeM) module involved in terror activities in Pulwama’s Tral and Awantipora
areas. The identity of fourth accused was not immediately revealed.
has been the focus of anti-insurgency operations in the state since 40
paramilitary troopers were killed in a car bomb attack there on February 14.
said Murtaza was arrested following a specific input, and a Chinese pistol, two
magazines and eight pistol rounds were recovered from him. “The duo [Murtaza
and Aqib] has been involved in arranging transport and logistics for the JeM
terrorists, who are involved in firing on a civilian and injuring him
critically,” he said.
said Irfan-ul-Haq has also been in contact with the JeM and obtained grenades
from them. “He lobbed a grenade on Central Reserve Police Force Camp,
Awantipora, and has been operating various WhatsApp groups and transferring,
sharing incriminating material with some outside the country,” Khan
National Investigation Agency (NIA) on Monday arrested a 29-year-old suspect
linked to the Islamic State terror group, who allegedly wanted to carry out a
suicide attack in Kerala, the anti-terror agency said.
added Zahran bin Hashim, the April 21 Easter Sunday’s suicide bombings
mastermind in Sri Lanka and National Towheed Jama’at leader, had inspired Riyas
A, the suspect, to carry out the attack. Riyas A is from Kerala’s Palakkad
NIA statement said Riyas A’s revelation has “stunned” the intelligence agencies
and they now believe that the Sri Lanka attacks were part of a larger
conspiracy to create terror in the region. Raids were carried out in Kerala and
Tamil Nadu to track down suspects linked to the IS after the Sri Lanka bombings
left over 250 people dead.
has disclosed that he has been following speeches/videos of Zahran Hashim of
Sri Lanka for over a year and has also followed the speeches of [fugitive
Indian preacher] Zakir Naik. He admitted that he wanted to carry out a suicide
attack in Kerala,” said NIA spokesman Alok Mittal.
said Riyas A disclosed he had been in touch with IS operative Abdul Rashid Abdulla and has
been following his audio clips. He added the clips included the one instigating
terror attacks in India.
Abdulla is the leader of a group of 22 people, including women and kids, which
had travelled to Afghanistan’s Nangarhar to fight for the IS from Kerala’s
Kasargod in 2016. He is suspected to have been in touch with Hashim and had
even sent members of the Kasargod’s IS module to Sri Lanka to get religious
case was initially registered in July 2016 following the disappearance of 15
people from Kasargod. As many as 14 of them had left for Afghanistan and one
for Syria. It later turned out later that 22 people had travelled to IS held
territories. “He [Riyas A] revealed that he was also having online chat with
Abdul Khayoom alias Abu Khalid [another IS-linked suspect] who is was believed
to be in Syria.”
NIA said it had earlier received inputs that a group of four had been in
contact with some of the accused including Khayoom. It added NIA carried out
raids at three places in Kerala’s Kasaragod and Palakkad on Sunday. Mittal said
three people have been interrogated.
official, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there is a strong possibility
that Riyas A had met Hashim during his trip to India and knew him well. They
were questioning him over it. More people are likely to be arrested in coming
DELHI: The NIA on Monday arrested Riyas Aboobacker, a resident of Palakkad in Kerala,
for being in touch with some members of an Islamic State-inspired module from
Kasargod and planning to carry out a suicide attack in the state.
his questioning by NIA, Aboobacker said he had been following speeches and
videos of Sri Lankan bomber Zahran Hashim for more than a year, besides the
speeches of Salafi preacher Zakir Naik.
the NIA had come across videos of Hashim's jihad-inspiring speeches from
computer resources seized during raids at the premises of six accused in the IS
Coimbatore module case. The module was allegedly planning to attack Hindu
leaders in Tamil Nadu.
arrest follows raids at his residence in Palakkad as well as of two other
suspects in Kasargod. The raids followed inputs that a group of four persons
had been in contact with IS Kasargod module accused Abdul Rashid Abdulla,
Ashfaq Majeed, Abdul Khayoom etc who had migrated to Afghanistan and Syria.
Three group members have been interrogated for their IS links and their plans.
interrogation, Aboobacker disclosed that he had been in online contact with
absconding accused Abdul Rashid Abdulla alias Abu Isa for a long time and had
been following his audio clips, including the clip which he had circulated on
social media instigating others to carry out terror attacks in India. He told
his interrogators that he had online chats with Abdul Khayoom alias Abu Khalid,
an accused in Valapattanam IS case who was believed to be in Syria. He further
said that he had been following speeches/videos of Zahran Hashim and Zakir
Naik. He admitted that he wanted to carry out a suicide attack in Kerala.
IS Kasargod case was registered in July 2016 following the disappearance of 15
youths from Kasargod and their subsequent migration to join the IS (14 persons
to Afghanistan and one to Syria).
DELHI: The NIA on Monday arrested Riyas Aboobacker, a resident of Palakkad in
Kerala, for being in touch with some members of an Islamic State-inspired
module from Kasaragod and having intentions to carry out a suicide attack in
during his questioning by NIA, said he had been following speeches and videos
of Sri Lanka bomber Zahran Hashim for more than a year, besides speeches of
Salafi preacher Zakir Naik. Earlier, NIA had come across videos of Hashim's
jihad-inspiring speeches from computer resources seized during raids at
premises of six accused in IS Coimbatore module case. The module was allegedly
planning to attack Hindu leaders in Tamil Nadu.
arrest follows raids at his residence in Palakkad as well as of two other
suspects in Kasaragod. The raids followed inputs that a group of four persons
had been in contact with IS Kasaragod module accused Abdul Rashid Abdulla, Ashfaq
Majeed, Abdul Khayoom etc who had already migrated to Afghanistan and Syria.
group members have been interrogated for their ISIS links and their plans.
During interrogation, Aboobacker disclosed that he had been in online contact
with absconding accused Abdul Rashid Abdulla alias Abu Isa for a long time and
had been following his audio clips including the clip which he had circulated
on social media platform instigating others to carry out terror attacks in
Palestinian Authority faces risk of financial collapse
UN political chief warned Monday that the worsening Palestinian financial
crisis poses a growing risk “of a financial collapse of the Palestinian
DiCarlo told the UN Security Council that “a sustainable resolution” to the
authority’s funding crisis is urgently needed.
is withholding about $11 million of the roughly $180 million a month in tax
funds that it collects for the Palestinians, claiming that money was being used
to support families of terrorists. The Palestinians, in protest, have refused
to accept any of the tax transfers.
so-called ‘withholding’ of Palestinian tax revenues is blatant theft, violating
bilateral agreements and the Geneva Convention prohibition on the pillaging of
the occupied people’s resources,” Riyad Mansour, the Palestinians’ ambassador
at the UN, told the council.
the funds, the Palestinian Authority has cut most workers’ salaries in half
since March, though salaries will be raised to 60 percent this month because of
the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. The lowest paid employees who earn less than
$600 a month continue to get full pay, but most civil servants have higher
called on both sides to address the underlying causes of the financial crisis,
implement their bilateral agreements, and avoid actions that undermine security
and stability for both Palestinians and Israelis.
also urged the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee, which coordinates development aid to
the Palestinians, to use its meeting Tuesday in Brussels to work with Israel
and the Palestinian Authority to resolve the crisis.
addition to the tax revenue, the Trump administration has cut hundreds of
millions of dollars in funding for the Palestinians.
month, the head of the UN agency that helps 5.3 million Palestinian refugees
called for equal generosity from donors who filled a $446 million hole in its
budget last year after the US drastically cut its contribution.
Krahenbuhl said donors funded the UN Relief and Works Agency’s $1.2 billion
budget for 2018 after the US reduced its $360 million contribution in 2017 to
just $60 million.
said the UN agency also adopted a $1.2 billion budget for 2019, and this year
it is getting nothing from the United States.
President Donald Trump said in January 2018 that the Palestinians must return
to peace talks to receive US aid money.
Authority refuses tax revenues after Israel cuts
Palestinians on Monday restated their refusal to accept tax revenues collected
on its behalf by Israel as long as the Jewish state deducts millions of dollars
over a dispute about prisoners.
position is as it was: We will not receive any money from Israel if it is
incomplete,” Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmud Abbas told the weekly
cabinet meeting in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
is something we will not accept at any cost.”
collects around $190 million a month in customs duties levied on goods destined
for Palestinian markets that transit through Israeli ports, and then it
transfers the money to the PA.
February, the Jewish state decided to deduct around $10 million a month from
those revenues, corresponding to the amount it said the PA paid families of
prisoners or directly to inmates serving time in Israeli jails.
Palestinians responded by saying they would refuse any funds where unilateral
deductions had been made.
public radio reported Monday that a month’s payment - minus the $10 million
deduction - had recently been transferred to PA bank accounts, in the hope the
authority would quietly accept payment.
after two weeks, the radio said, the money was returned to the Israeli finance
sees the payments to those who have carried out attacks against Israelis as
encouraging further violence.
PA describes the payments as a form of welfare, while the Palestinian public
regards prisoners jailed by Israel as national heroes.
Arab League pledged last week to provide the PA with $100 million monthly,
potentially averting a financial crisis caused by the row.
on Monday called on the body to honor that pledge.
do not have high hopes, but perhaps the amount could be considered a debt that
we return as soon as Israel returns” the money, he said.
also renewed his opposition to a proposed US peace plan expected to be unveiled
has refused to negotiate with Donald Trump’s administration since December
2017, when the US president controversially recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s
84, has previously faced accusations of anti-Semitism in comments about the
history of Israel, Jews and Zionism, the ideological movement behind the
creation of a Jewish state, accusations he denies.
attorney general has given Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu until next week to
confirm he wants a formal hearing to defend himself before corruption charges
are filed against him.
a letter made public Sunday evening Avichai Mandelblit told Netanyahu’s lawyers
that if he wants to exercise his right to defend himself before possible indictment
he must notify authorities by May 10.
hearing itself must then take place no later than July 10.
lawyers have been protesting non-payment of their fees to date and are refusing
to collect the case files until they are paid, the letter said.
prime minister wants to raise a $2 million from two American businessmen -- his
cousin Nathan Milikowsky and friend Spencer Partrich -- to pay his attorneys,
Israeli media reported.
the government committee that vets requests by government officials to accept
money from outside sources has twice rejected his petition.
February, Mandelblit announced his intention to indict Netanyahu on charges of
fraud, breach of trust and bribery, following up on police recommendations.
Netanyahu’s request evidentiary material was only made available to lawyers the
day after the April 9 general election, for fear that files would leak and sway
who won a fifth term in office and now faces the prospect of becoming the first
sitting Israeli premier to be indicted, has called corruption allegations
against him a “witch hunt.”
issue of the fees,” Mandelblit said in the letter, “does not justify any delay
in transfer of the most important material to the prime minister or his lawyers
and in any event does not affect the date of the hearing.”
what is considered the most serious of the cases, Netanyahu is accused of
advocating regulatory benefits allegedly granted to telecommunications firm
Bezeq in exchange for positive news coverage for himself from a media company
owned by the then Bezeq CEO.
involves Netanyahu allegedly seeking a secret deal with the publisher of
Israel’s top-selling newspaper Yediot Aharonot to ensure positive coverage in
return for pushing forward a law that would have limited the circulation of a
third case involves suspicions the premier and his family received luxury gifts
such as cigars and champagne from wealthy individuals, including Hollywood
producer Arnon Milchan, in exchange for financial or personal favors.
denies the accusations and calls them an attempt by his political enemies to
force him from office.
if he is charged, Netanyahu, 69, would not legally be forced to withdraw until
he had been convicted and exhausted the appeals process.
believe he will fight the charges through every level of the courts, which
could take years.
UN ambassador condemns the world body’s inaction in the face of the US’s
increasing support for Israel’s territorial violations, including Washington’s
recent recognition of Syria’s Golan Heights as an “Israeli territory.”
Takht-e Ravanchi made the remarks at an open debate in the United Nations
Security Council (UNSC) on Monday. “We stress that the Golan is and will remain
an integral part of Syria,” the envoy said.
late March, US President Donald Trump signed a proclamation recognizing Israeli
“sovereignty” over the territory, which the Tel Aviv regime occupied in 1967.
Islamic Republic of Iran once again condemns, in the strongest possible terms,
these internationally wrongful acts,” he noted about both the move and
Washington’s decision to relocate its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem
al-Quds in May 2018 after recognizing the occupied holy city as Israel’s “capital.”
acts are against the peremptory norms of international law, let alone Council’s
resolutions,” he said. “According to international law, the territory of a
State shall not be the object of acquisition resulting from the threat or use
of force, and no such territorial acquisition shall be recognized as legal,”
the official added.
its veto power as a permanent member of the UNSC, the US has vetoed all the
proposals, 44 in total, intending to force Israel to implement the Council’s
Council has been both inactive and ineffective because of the unreserved
support of the US for Israel,” Takht-e Ravanchi said. “Indeed, the continuation
of this situation would further erode the credibility of the Council and
deteriorate its already trust and confidence deficit,” he added.
international community has been resorting to the UN General Assembly for
adoption of anti-Israeli resolutions, where the US does not wield a veto power.
after the US move concerning al-Quds, members of the Assembly overwhelmingly
voted in favor of a resolution asking on Washington to withdraw its
Ravanchi reminded that the Council’s “primary responsibility is the maintenance
of international peace and security,” and that it “has an explicit legal
obligation to counter aggression and occupation.”
military aircraft have “neutralized” more than a dozen members of the Kurdistan
Workers’ Party (PKK) militant group when they carried out a string of
airstrikes against a terrorist hideout in Iraq's northern semi-autonomous
Tamer Zincir, an official with the Turkish Defense Ministry, told reporters in
the capital Ankara on Monday that the fighter jets had conducted airstrikes
against a cave in the Zap region of northern Iraq late on Sunday, and
“neutralized” 14 PKK terrorists in the process.
Turkish military generally uses the term "neutralize" to signify that
the militants were killed, captured or surrendered.
the Turkish Defense Ministry, in a message published on its official Twitter
page, said Turkish fighter jets had hit designated targets in the Haftanin
regions of northern Iraq.
and ammunition depots used by PKK terrorists were destroyed as a result.
militants regularly clash with Turkish forces in the Kurdish-dominated
southeast of Turkey attached to northern Iraq.
along with the European Union and the United States, has declared the PKK a
terrorist group and banned it. The militant group has been seeking an
autonomous Kurdish region since 1984.
shaky ceasefire between the PKK and the Turkish government collapsed in July
2015. Attacks on Turkish security forces have soared ever since.
the past few months, Turkish ground and air forces have been carrying out
operations against PKK positions in the country as well as in northern Iraq and
military forces have shot and injured a Palestinian man in the northern part of
the West Bank as tensions continue in the occupied Palestinian territories.
media outlets alleged that the unidentified Palestinian fired toward Israeli
soldiers near the town of Arrabah, located 13 kilometers southwest of Jenin, on
response, Israeli soldiers fired at the man, who was injured in the back.
responders who arrived at the scene said the man was in moderate condition, and
was transferred to a hospital to receive medical care. No Israeli troops were
injured in the purported attack.
Israeli army later said in a statement that a second suspect was also involved
in the incident.
soldiers are searching the area and carrying out a manhunt to apprehend him,”
the statement added.
security forces established checkpoints and increased patrols throughout the
northern West Bank following the incident.
continue in the occupied Palestinian territories as part of the aftermath of US
President Donald Trump's recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israel’s capital
in December 2017 and the relocation of the US embassy to the occupied city in
December 21, 2017, the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly voted in
favor of a resolution that called on the United States to withdraw its
controversial recognition of Jerusalem al-Quds as Israeli “capital.”
an attempt to prevent the passing of the resolution, Trump threatened reprisals
against countries that backed the measure, which had earlier faced a US veto at
the UN Security Council.
One hundred families have returned to their homes after the Saudi-led coalition
in Yemen liberated areas from the control of Iranian-backed Houthi militias.
spokesman Col. Turki Al-Maliki said on Monday that the Yemeni National Army
with the support of the coalition seized back parts of Saada in the north-west
of the country.
a result, citizens forcibly displaced from their farms and homes in 12 villages
in the Wadi Abu Jabara area, were allowed to return. Al-Maliki said the
coalition had assigned a special delegation to oversee the resettlement
pointed out that Houthi militias had unsuccessfully tried to target the House
of Representatives with the use of drones. “We continue to target the militias’
drones in Sanaa,” he said.
military spokesman added that the Houthis had continued to threaten to blow up
a floating crude oil tank, an act which would lead to an environmental and
all its operations, Al-Maliki stressed that the coalition was doing everything
it possibly could to avoid civilian casualties.
also revealed that the King Salman Humanitarian Aid and Relief Center (KSRelief)
was launching a second voluntary medical operation to carry out heart surgery
and catheterization for Yemeni children.
campaign is part of a series of various voluntary campaigns carried out by the
center in Yemen and other countries,” said Al-Maliki.
medical team sent to the port city of Mukalla performed 95 heart operations and
a successful pediatric catheterization procedure. Al-Maliki said the surgery
required high-tech medical equipment and specialized teams, the cost of which
was covered by KSRelief.
said the total number of Houthi violations of the Swedish agreement had reached
3,811. Militias were still planting mines that threatened global shipping
routes in the southern Red Sea.
were 226 ballistic missiles launched by Houthi terrorists toward Saudi Arabia
between March 26, 2015, and April 29 this year.
relief ports are open for Yemen (air, sea, land), and the total number of
maritime permits issued by the Joint Forces Command from March 26, 2015, to
April 29, 2019, was 5,713. Air permits for the same period were granted for
15,168 passengers. There were 1,357 land permits during this period. Permits
and orders to secure the movements of relief organizations inside Yemen from
April 22 to 28, 2019, topped 332.
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