Showing posts from November 16, 2014

Tunisians Are Shaken as Young Women Turn to Extremism

TUNIS — Leila Mustapha Saidi returned home on a recent day to find her daughter Henda missing, along with her computer. Mrs. Saidi, who had watched her daughter grow religious and “obsessed” with the conflict in  Syria , said she feared she had run off to join Islamist fighters there. Instead, the police called four days later. Her daughter Henda Saidi was holed up in a house outside Tunis with a group of suspected insurgents. A day later, security forces stormed the house. Of six people killed in the raid, five were young women. “They classified her as a terrorist,” Mrs. Saidi said bitterly. After more than two years of mounting attacks and assassinations, Tunisians are no longer surprised by shootouts between gunmen and anti-terrorist units, even in the capital. But the standoff in which Ms. Saidi was killed nonetheless shocked many here for the sheer number of women involved. Ms. Saidi, in a photo provided by her family. It has also driven home the fact that — nearly four years afte

The Struggle to Erase Saudi Extremism

The rise of the Islamic State has once again turned the spotlight on  Saudi Arabia , which is accused of supplying the theological foundation of the movement’s brutal ideology, as well as many of its fighters and funders. The kingdom faced similar criticism in 2001 after 15 of the 19 hijackers in the 9/11 terrorist attacks were found to be Saudi. As a result, when King Abdullah ascended to the throne four years later, he established the Financial Investigation Unit to halt terror financing and cracked down on extremist rhetoric in the mosque. But the heart of his campaign against extremism was a major revamp of the nation’s education system. Almost a decade later, it is apparent that, however laudable, Saudi reforms have not gone far enough. More critically, it is clear that fighting extremism through education reform is insufficient. More needs to be done to confront the Islamic State — a clear and present danger to the country’s survival as well as to its assertion that Islam is a co

Gunmen kill 28 in northeast Kenya bus attack - ministry

NAIROBI  (Reuters) - Attackers ambushed a bus and killed 28 people early on Saturday in northeast Kenya, police and the Ministry of Interior said. It was not immediately clear who the attackers were. "Bandits ambushed a bus from Mandera that was heading to Nairobi at dawn and killed 28 passengers of the 60 that were in the bus," the ministry said on its Twitter feed. Police Spokesman Masoud Mwinyi confirmed the incident. The government-run National Disaster Operations Centre said on its Twitter feed that the attack took place some 30 km from the town of Mandera. Tensions have escalated in Mandera County, near the border with Ethiopia and Somalia, in the past year as clashes between clans have displaced hundreds of people. The region is awash with guns due to its proximity to Somalia, where al Shabaab has been fighting to topple the government, and Ethiopia, from where the armed Oromo Liberation Front has made incursions into Kenya. The attack underscores fears over the lack o

Security agencies suspect Maoists trained Rampal's private army

Courtesy:  Mail Today Security agencies suspect Maoists trained Rampal's private army Manjeet Sehgal/Ajay Kumar   Sonepat/Chandigarh, Saturday, November 22, 2014 Security agencies suspect Chhattisgarh, Bihar and Nepal Maoists trained Rampal's private army as the godman had good relations with them. Meanwhile, a huge cache of arms and ammunition was recovered from the Satlok Ashram on Friday. The Intelligence Bureau had alerted the Haryana and Chandigarh police about a Maoist attempt to disturb the law and order situation in the region. The alarm was based on baba's alleged links with a Maoist named Mahaveer Saklani and it was proved when Bihar's STF arrested a CPI-M subarea commander from Gurgaon on August 19. Saklani from Bihar's Champaran district who carries a reward of Rs 25,000 on his head stayed in the Barwala ashram in the garb of a 'doctor', prescribing medicines to the godman's followers. A senior policeman said: "Mahaveer Saklani is believ

Terror network: Bangladesh-West Bengal-Hyderabad link comes to fore

Hyderabad:  The arrest of 28-year-old Khalid Ahmed, a Burmese national, in the old city area of Hyderabad on 18 November has added a new dimension to the city's terror links. While Hyderabad's connection with Pakistan-based outfits is no secret, what has come as a surprise to the intelligence agencies is the city's terror links to Bangladesh and Myanmar for well over a decade. This has also renewed concerns over the illegal immigrants in the city. Tracing the terror links to Bangladesh, Additional Commissioner of City Police Anjani Kumar said: "The first ever human bomb, outside Jammu and Kashmir and after the assassination of Rajiv Gandhi in 1991, was the attack on Special Task Force office at Begumpet in Hyderabad on 12 October \2005. This was carried out by Dalin, a Bangladeshi national, in which one constable was also killed." Another major incident he recalled was the Dilsukhnagar blasts on 21 February 2013. The principal accused, Yasin Bhatkal and Riyaz Bhat

ISIS Trains Child Soldiers at Camps for 'Cubs of the Islamic State'

Their guns are as big as they are — which is not saying much. On the streets of Syria and Iraq, ISIS militants are building a small army — literally. The use and recruitment of child soldiers is a war crime. It's also a practice which ISIS has boasted of in photos and videos splashed across the Internet with titles such as the "Cubs of the Islamic State." Instead of archery and merit badges of Cub Scouts, these boys learn how to clean, disassemble and shoot machine guns. While their peers in the U.S. build campfires, ISIS' diminutive devotees go from Quranic recitation drills to the front line of battle. “They teach them how to use AK-47s,” one Iraqi security official told NBC News on condition of anonymity. “They use dolls to teach them how to behead people, then they make them watch a beheading, and sometimes they force them to carry the heads in order to cast the fear away from their hearts." Some graduates of the camps are used as human shie

U.N. Commissioner For Human Rights Faces Challenges In Iraq, Syria

Robert Siegel talks to Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, about the abuses in Syria and Northern Iraq. ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST: Now a talk with the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, who brought an unusual resume to that job, which he assumed in September. He happens to be a member of the Jordanian royal family. He's a prince. He has served as Jordan's ambassador to the U.S. and to the U.N., and he is the first Muslim to hold the U.N. human rights post. Commissioner Zeid Al Hussein, welcome to the program. ZEID RA'AD AL HUSSEIN: Thank you, Robert. SIEGEL: Let's talk about what's being done by ISIS which you've described as including probably committing acts of genocide in Iraq as defined by international treaty. Do you include what ISIS is doing in Syria for one thing, and second, are we talking about many different groups that are fighting, say, in Syria and Iraq. HUSSEIN: I addr

Syria Enlists Child Soldiers in Fight Against ISIS

QAMISHLI, Syria (RNS) — A Kurdish boy who looks no older than 11 mans the entrance of a military base in northeastern Syria. His pants drag on the ground and his shirt hangs off his bony shoulders as he stands in an ill-fitting military uniform next to a Kalashnikov automatic rifle. Like many of the child soldiers in local Kurdish forces, he refuses to give his name or provide his age for fear of retribution. The State Department says it has raised concerns about the use of child soldiers, even as the U.S. aids these Kurdish fighters battling against Islamic State militants in Syria through airdrops of weapons and supplies provided by Iraqi authorities. Local authorities pledged this summer to remove all 149 child soldiers from the ranks of the main armed Kurdish force, the People's Protection Units (YPG), but the group's spokesman, Redur Khalil, admits some remain among its 50,000 troops in the region. "It is not completely strange that cases of child soldiers