Showing posts from August 16, 2015

If you really want to fight terrorism, start by fighting child poverty

Poor people have no stake in nations and economies that ignore them – governments must recognise residents of slums as full citizens, not squatters Poverty feeds terrorism by eroding a basic human need: the need to belong. This may seem like an unlikely place to begin a conversation on terrorism, but after growing up in one of Africa’s largest urban slums for most of my life, I am certain that nurturing a sense of belonging in young people through economic opportunity and the cultivation of community is essential for curbing the spread of terrorism. My home of Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya , is one of the largest urban slums in Africa. Growing up there and starting the grassroots movement Shining Hope for Communities (SHOFCO) age 16, I saw in the young people around me an intense desire to belong to society and to be seen as valuable contributors. Instead, lack of opportunity drove many promising youths I knew into gangs and terrorist groups. And as the 10-to-24 age group

Nationwide counter-terror ops continue as 10 terrorists killed in southeastern Turkey

At least 10 suspected PKK terrorists have been killed in clashes with security forces in southeastern Turkey, security sources said Thursday. Eight of them were killed during a military operation in the Şemdinli district of Hakkari province late Wednesday and another two were killed in Adıyaman province in a separate military operation. Security sources said dozens of troops and special forces, supported by drones, engaged in the firefight in Adıyaman province. Two soldiers were slightly injured in the operation, the sources added. Eight terrorists were killed after an anti-terror operation on Thursday in the southeastern town of Şemdinili, located in the Hakkari province. One of the terrorists that has been killed is believed to be behind the death of Specialized Sergeant Ziya Sarpkaya of the Turkish Military. Nationwide operations, focusing on terrorist groups that include the PKK, DHKP-C and the Gülen Movement, are currently ongoing in the region. PKK terrorists

Turkey Accuses BBC Of 'Promoting And Glorifying Terrorism' Over Report On PKK Female Fighters

The Turkish government Friday accused the BBC of supporting terrorism after the British news network aired a report profiling Kurdish women from the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) fighting the Islamic State group in Iraq. The PKK, which is currently being targeted in airstrikes by the Turkish military, is considered a terrorist organization in the country and several Western nations, including the United States. “The BBC published written and visual propaganda of the terrorist organization PKK. To feature an organization that is recognized as terrorist in most of the European Union countries in such a way is an open support for terrorism,” Turkey’s foreign ministry said in a statement , adding that the report attempted to portray the PKK as innocent and even “glorified its crimes.” “This publication violates the U.N. and Council of Europe resolutions in this field. Promoting and glorifying terrorism is a crime,” the ministry said in the statement. The BBC report , wh

16 ISIS fighters to become suicide bombers after contracting AIDS from sex slaves

  The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group has ordered sixteen of it’s fighters to become suicide bombers after contracting HIV from two Moroccan sex slaves, it has been reported. According to the doctor who was forced to treat the ISIS fighters, the men were quarantined by terror group’s leadership after they went through medical tests, confirming they had HIV. The doctor whose identity has not be revealed further added that the men were treated at an ISIS-run hospital i the eastern-Syrian city of Al-Mayadeen. He said the men who are mostly foreign nationals had unprotected sex with two Moroccan sex slaves. “Most of those infected are foreign militants who had sexual intercourses with two Moroccan women. The women passed on the disease to the militants before their infection was revealed,” the doctor quoted by ARA News – a Syrian independent press agency, said. He said “We were ordered by the group’s local leadership to transfer the infected

US finds Pakistan’s action against Haqqani terrorist network inadequate

  The Haqqani terrorist network accused of numerous deadly attacks in Afghanistan has not been damaged during the military operations conducted by the Pakistani military, the United States has told Pakistan. The United States has reportedly warned that it would not be certifying to the Congress that its (Pakistani) counter-terrorism operation in North Waziristan damaged the Haqqani network. According to the informed sources in the government of Pakistan, the US Department of Defence has conveyed the concerns in this regard to thee Pakistani mission in Washington as well as to the authorities in Islamabad. The next tranche of Coalition Support Fund (CSF) has also reportedly been blocked following the move by the United States. Pakistan has so far received around $13 billion from the United States as part of the reimbursement for operations and maintenance costs incurred in direct support of US operations in Afghanistan since 2001. The Haqqani terrorist ne

Phantom is anti-terrorism, not anti-Pakistani: Kabir Khan

  51   4 Share 0   Saif Ali Khan-Katrina Kaif-starrer Phantom is anti-terrorism, not anti-Pakistan, director Kabir Khan said, reacting strongly to Pakistan's ban on the release of his upcoming movie. "I am feeling a bit strange as the film has been banned even before it reached the Censor Board. It is not an anti-Pakistan Movie. This only an anti-terrorism film and is against the masterminds of 26/11 attack," Kabir told ANI. Saif, who plays the lead role in Phantom , also said that the movie is based on facts. In the upcoming Bollywood movie, Saif's Daniyal is an Indian agent who has a job at hand: to find and kill Hariz Saeed -- a thinly veiled reference to the JuD chief who is wanted in India and resides in Pakistan. Watch: Phantom team reacts strongly to Pakistan's ban on release <span itemprop="name" content="Watch: Phantom team reacts strongly to Pakistan's ban on rele

Turkish forces report killing 771 'PKK rebels'

ANKARA - Turkish forces have killed 771 militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq and southeastern Turkey over the last four weeks, the state news agency Anatolia said on Friday. File picture shows a member of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) at a cemetary in the Qandil mountain, the PKK headquarters in northern Iraq The agency, whose figures could not be confirmed independently, said among those killed were 430 rebels who died in air raids on PKK camps in Iraq. Another 260 were killed in ground operations in southeastern Turkey, Anatolia said, quoting what it said were sources in military intelligence. The offensive was launched after 33 pro-Kurdish activists were killed on July 20 in a suicide bombing on the Syrian border blamed on Islamic State (IS) jihadists. The attack prompted a violent reaction against Turkish police and troops from Kurdish militants, who accuse Ankara's Islamic-rooted government of complicity with IS. On July 24

Peru approves shooting down of drug smuggling planes

The Peruvian Congress has approved legislation that allows the country's air force to shoot down small planes suspected of carrying illegal drugs. Peru produces more cocaine than any other country and anti-narcotics agents say most of it is smuggled to the US. The bill was passed unanimously 89-0 and is expected to be signed into law by President Ollanta Humala. However, officials say the US has expressed its opposition to restoring so-called aerial interdiction. Peru halted the tactic in 2001 after an American missionary and her infant daughter were killed in an attack on a plane wrongly identified as carrying drugs. The plane was brought down by the Peruvian Air Force but it was a joint operation with the CIA. The US, which sponsors anti-drugs programmes across South America, has opposed attacks on suspected drug planes since then. Common tactic Other countries in the region - including Colombia, Brazil, Venezuela and Bolivia - already permit such planes to be s

Bangkok Shrine Bombing: Reward for Suspect Triples to $85,000

Thai authorities have tripled to $85,000 a reward for information leading to the arrest of the main suspect in the Bangkok shrine bombing that killed 20 people at one of the city's top tourist attractions. The government said progress in the investigation was being made but declined to give details or offer evidence they were closer to determining who carried out Monday evening's bombing at the Erawan shrine. Fourteen of the victims were foreigners, including one British citizen and seven from mainland China and Hong Kong. Grainy security camera footage shows an unidentified young man dressed in a yellow shirt leaving a backpack at the scene.

Bangkok Bomb: Who are the Uighur Muslims 'suspected' by Thai police over deadly blast

Thai authorities looking for clues on who could be behind a deadly bombing in central Bangkok are said to be focusing their investigation on Uighur militants waging a separatist struggle against China. As police released a detailed sketch of the suspect for the attack at the Erawan Shrine on 17 August that left 22 people dead, sources close to the probe told local media their main lead centred on a possible revenge plot by the Turkic-speaking Muslim ethnic group from western China. Last month, Bangkok handed back to Beijing more than 100 Uighur migrants who had sought asylum in Thailand sparking widespread criticism. Investigators have not officially singled out any preferred lead, but said the main suspect was a "Middle Eastern-looking" foreign man, basically ruling out the possibility that the attack was the work of anti-government militants or internal Muslim separatists. Meanwhile, The Bangkok Post quoted police sources as saying they believed the bombi

Israel says kills four militants in Syrian Golan strike

Israel said it killed four Palestinian militants in an air strike on the Syrian Golan Heights on Friday, after cross-border rocket fire from Syria prompted the heaviest Israeli bombardment since the start of Syria's four-year-old civil war. An Israeli defence official said the four people killed in Friday's air strike were Palestinian militants from the Iran-backed Islamic Jihad. "We know of at least four of them who were killed," the official said. A Syrian army source said the strike, at 10.30 am (0730 GMT), hit a car in a village in the Syrian Golan Heights, killing five civilians. State television quoted the source as saying it took place near Quneitra, close to the Israeli-occupied section of the Golan region. Friday's attack came after Israel launched heavy overnight strikes against Syrian army posts in the border area in retaliation for what Israel said were rockets fired from Syria into Israel by Islamic Jihad. The ro

Malaysian police arrest 10 suspected of IS links

KUALA LUMPUR - Ten Malaysians have been arrested on suspicion of fostering links with the Islamic State group and planning attacks in the country, police said. Authorities say dozens of Malaysians have travelled to Syria to fight in the civil war there, and have warned of radicals returning home to stage attacks Malaysia's national police chief Khalid Abu Bakar said late Thursday that the 10 individuals were allegedly "planning to obtain weapons to launch attacks in the country and arrange logistics for Malaysians to join the IS in Syria". He did not elaborate on details of the alleged attack plots. The eight men and two women, aged between 24 and 42, were arrested on Wednesday in various parts of the Muslim-majority country, according to an official statement. Among the 10 were a kindergarten teacher, a former interior designer and two civil servants. The remaining six suspects were members of state security forces, police said. Authorities say dozens of Mal

Australia considering U.S. request to join air strikes in Syria

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said on Friday that he was considering a formal request from the United States for Australia to join air strikes in Syria against the Islamic State militant group. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) is already involved in bombing Islamic State targets in Iraq, but its aerial role in Syria has so far been limited to refueling and intelligence gathering. "While there are processes that we need to go through and there's no decision that should be made lightly here ... we will carefully consider that request," Abbott told reporters in Canberra. "I want to make very clear that the consolidation of a terrorist state in eastern Syria and northern Iraq would be a catastrophe for the world." RAAF planes have been bombing IS targets in Iraq since September Source:

More needed from Turkey in Islamic State fight -U.S. defense chief

Turkey needs to do more in the fight against Islamic State militants and has indicated it is willing to go beyond its recent decision to allow US planes to conduct air strikes from Turkish bases, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said on Thursday. Carter said Turkey had agreed in principle to participate in the coalition bombing campaign against the militants, but the United States also needed Ankara to step up its efforts to control its long border with Iraq and Syria. "It's a border over which logistics for ISIS and the fighters cross," Carter said. "So we're looking for them to do more in that regard as well and are in active discussions with them about that." Turkey was expected to participate in air strikes against Islamic State in Syria after it reached a deal with the United States on greater participation in the campaign against the group. But Turkish bombing efforts have primarily focused on the Kurdish PKK, which it considers a t

United States government has Blocked Military Aid Payment to Pakistan

The United States government will not certify Pakistan’s counter-terrorism operations in North Waziristan over recent months as adequately damaging to the Haqqani network, a U.S.-designated terror group. The U.S. Department of Defense has reportedly notified the Pakistani embassy in Washington of the development. The non-certification of the Pakistani counter-terror campaign, known as Operation Zarb-e-Azb, will block the release of a new tranche of U.S. financial assistance for the Pakistani military from the Coalition Support Fund (CSF). CSF support had been extended for a year with a specific stipulation that the U.S. Department of Defense would certify the effectiveness of Pakistani military operations in North Waziristan against the Haqqani network. The development would drive a major wedge between the United States and Pakistan, two allies who have grown apart over their divergent interests and priorities in stabilizing the broader Afghan-Pakistan border. Beyond

46 suspected terrorists killed in Pakistan by ISPR

The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) unit of the Pakistan armed forces has confirmed that aerial strikes were launched in North Waziristan earlier this week, and that at least 46 suspected terrorists had been killed at militant hideouts in two different areas of the region. The Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) unit of the Pakistan armed forces has confirmed that aerial strikes were launched in North Waziristan earlier this week, and that at least 46 suspected terrorists had been killed at militant hideouts in two different areas of the region. In a release, the ISPR said that the strikes were targeted on hideouts in the Gharlamai and Shawal areas of the North Waziristan. It said that 28 terrorists were killed in the Gharlamai area and another 18 were killed in the Shawal area Source:

Israel fires missiles into Syria after rocket attack

An Israeli aircraft has fired missiles at a building in Syria's Golan Heights in response to a rocket strike on an Israeli village, according to reports. Syrian state TV said "several missiles" had hit a transport centre and public building in the Height's Quneitra area. Earlier rockets landed near a village in northern Israel. There are no reports of injuries in either attack. Israeli officials blamed the rocket strike on the Palestinian group Islamic Jihad, which denied the claim. A statement released by the Israeli military said the rockets that hit the upper Galilee region "were launched from the Syrian Golan Heights... by Islamic Jihad, sponsored by Iran". The statement went on to say that Israel "holds the Syrian government responsible for attacks emanating from Syria". Israeli soldiers were sent to inspect damage caused by the rockets

IS destroys Syrian monastery, tranfers Christian captives

Extremist group Islamic State's militants have demolished a monastery in the central Syrian province of Homs, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said on Thursday. The group has also transferred several dozen Christians, captured during its offensive, to a location near its stronghold in northeastern Syria, the monitor said. Militants used bulldozers to raze the monastery in the town of Qaryatain, a strategically-located town wrestled from government control by the jihadist group in early August, the Britain-based Observatory added. Syrian government's warplanes were still pounding the area with air strikes two weeks after Islamic State captured the town. Qaryatain is near a road linking the ancient Roman city of Palmyra to the Qalamoun mountains, along the border with Lebanon. The hardliner militant group has been gaining ground in the desert areas east and south of Homs after it took over Palmyra last May. The Syrian army has launched a large-

Bangkok bombings: Ceremony held to honour victims as manhunt continues

Sombre horns sounded Friday at the site of Bangkok's deadly bomb blast as officials joined a multi-religious ceremony for victims of this week's attack, the latest effort to show that the bustling capital was respectfully, if cautiously, moving on. Four days after the explosion at the revered Erawan Shrine, at one of the capital's busiest intersections, there were few solid leads into the perpetrators of the deadliest attack in Thailand's recent history. Police were still searching for the prime suspect seen in a security video and on Thursday cleared two other men initially believed to be suspects. In a sign of the concern over more attacks, bomb-sniffing dogs checked the shrine ahead of Friday's morning ceremony, where government officials and diplomats laid floral bouquets. A Brahmin priest poured holy water over the damaged face of the shrine's centrepiece, a four-headed statue of the Hindu god Brahma that is now missing one chin. But

The ugly threat of an ISIL with chemical weapons

The alleged use of chemical weapons, including mustard gas, by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) fits in with a pattern of increasing small-scale tactical usages of chemical weapons in both Syria and Iraq.  Despite the furore following the use of chemical munitions by the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Ghouta in 2013, the use of chemical munitions by ISIL points to a worrying new trend in which the use of prohibited weapons is increasingly becoming the norm. A growing amount of evidence is emerging that ISIL has increasingly begun to use chemical weapons against forces fighting them in both Iraq and Syria. Recent reports confirmed that government investigations by the US and Germany show the potential use of mustard gas against Kurdish forces in the Iraqi town of Makhmour on August 14 and against Syrian YPG forces last month around the town of Hassakeh. In truth, reports of attempted chemical attacks by ISIL are nothing new. Peshmerga forces of the Kurdistan Regional Govern

C.Africa interfaith group receives UN peace prize

. Geneva (AFP) - Members of the Central African Republic's Interfaith Peace Platform on Wednesday received an international peace award for their work to reconcile Muslims and Christians in the war-ravaged country. The prize, in honour of United Nations envoy Sergio Vieira de Mello who was killed when a suicide bomber attacked the UN offices in Baghdad 12 years ago, was handed over to three of Central Africa's top religious leaders at a ceremony in Geneva. The Catholic Archbishop of Bangui, Dieudonne Nzapalainga, the head of the Central Africa's Islamic Council Imam Oumar Kobine Layama and the head of the country's Evangelical Alliance, Pastor Nicolas Guerekoyamene-Gbangou received their golden plaques from Vieira de Mello's widow and tw

Mauritania's tough anti-slavery laws face tougher resistance

. Nouakchott (AFP) - Mauritania became the last country to abolish slavery 34 years ago, but despite ever harsher laws which now declare the practice a crime against humanity, a deeply ingrained resistance has made the shackles hard to break. A new law adopted last week doubling prison terms for offenders has been hailed as a sign the government of the west African nation is finally getting serious on cracking down on the practice which activists say is widespread despite being made illegal in 2007. However as three anti-slavery campaigners prepare to appeal a two-year prison sentence Thursday, activists have said the case raises doubts about government's will to implement the new law. "We feel that there is hypocrisy because (authorities) seem more intent on prosecuting anti-slavery activists than applying the exis

Colombia confronts femicide, the 'most extreme form of violence against women'

BOGOTA (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Colombia's new law on femicide is a key step to combat violence against women, but forensic experts and prosecutors will need to change the way they investigate gender-related killings to win convictions, officials said. In this Latin American country of 47 million people where on average one woman is killed every two days, the issue of femicide - defined as the killing of a woman by a man because of her gender - is under the spotlight. The law, which came into effect July 6, makes femicide a distinct and legally defined crime, with jail sentences of 20 to 41 years. The challenge now is enforcement of the law and ensuring that police, prosecutors and forensic experts are trained to identify and investigate cases of femicide. The prosecutor's office needs to "change the way femicides are investigated from the scene of the crime to the court room", Miguel E

Kevin McGuigan murder: Police link Provisional IRA to killing in Belfast

Police say they believe Provisional IRA members were involved in the murder of Kevin McGuigan Sr in east Belfast. Police say the organisation called Action Against Drugs, whose members include members of PIRA, were responsible. Mr McGuigan Sr, 53, was murdered at his home in east Belfast last week. Det Supt Kevin Geddes said a major line of inquiry was that members of PIRA were involved. "Action Against Drugs as you may be aware made a public statement on 6 August that they would execute anybody who had any involvement or they believed had any involvement in the murder of Jock Davison ," he added. "It is my assessment that Action Against Drugs are a group of individuals who are criminals, violent dissident republicans and former members of the Provisional IRA. "They are dangerous, they are involved in violence and extortion of the nationalist and republican communities and they have a criminal agenda. "My assessment is that this is a separate